remove (the noun)

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remove (the noun)

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:40 pm

Tintoretto [[famed artist of Renaissance Venice]] didn’t idealize his godly or saintly subjects and set them at a remove. He put us nose-close to figures in swirling, cinematic motion; “his high-wire scenes dare us to look away.”—The Week, 26 April, page 23
A few years back when I wrote the posting on the idiom at one remove, I learned that in addition to remove being a verb it was also a noun. After not giving it a thought since then, I was surprised when I came across it in the above quote. How soon we forget! (>:)
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remove noun

The degree of difference, distance (as a space, time, etc.) or remoteness separating one person, thing, or condition from another; interval; distance or step apart or away; a degree distant.

<At a short remove upon the same platform was an officer.>
<Her poems work best at a slight remove from the personal.>
<At this remove, the whole incident seems insane.>
<To spill, though at a safe remove, the blood of brave men>
<Only one remove from madness>

[This was gleaned from various online dictionaries]
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The Oxford English Dictionary provides many definitions for the noun "remove," most of which are obsolete, rare, or archaic. The two that are relevant and still in use including their version of the above definition, are:

8a) The condition, state, or fact of being remote or distant; the extent to or degree by which a person or thing is separated from another in time, place, condition, etc.; remoteness, distance; an instance of this. Now the usual sense. [first use – 1628]
<2008 “Throughout his memoir, Ayers maintains a remove that's frankly creepy.”—Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), (Nexis), 14 December, page F8>
3a) The action of moving away or to another place, esp. a new place of residence; withdrawal, departure; an instance of this. Now chiefly North American. [first use – 1555]
<1992 “His remove to the Kanawha took him back to a world in which he felt far more comfortable.”—D. Boone (1993) by J. M. Faragher, vii, page 263>
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The following are some recent quotes from newspaper archives:
<2016 “Only a handful of times in the past half-century has Hufnagel not been in the middle of camp as a player or a coach. Now he’s at a remove. However, that distance shouldn’t grant anyone a sense of ease.”—Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), 7 June, page 17>

<2017 “. . . here’s an alternative that would allow tech companies to stand at a greater remove: . . . Urging platform owners to interfere, directly or even at a remove, feels like a failure.”—Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 2 October, page A13>

<2018 “But if the prevailing impression of classical [[music]] is that it is hard to comprehend, then people are going to interact with it at remove.”— Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 9 December, page 4-4>

<2019 “Of course, the sacred places could not be left in their natural state. Yet so much stone and masonry place history at a remove.”—The Citizen (Auburn, New York), 23 January, page A9>
Side note: The word “removed” is used to categorize the relationship between some relatives and also denotes separation as does the noun “remove. As an example, with cousins, the term "removed" can refer to the number of generations separating the cousins. So your first cousin once removed is the child of your first cousin. Your second cousin once removed is the child of your second cousin. And your first cousin twice removed is the grandchild of your first cousin.
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Ken Greenwald – April 25, 2019
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Re: remove (the noun)

Post by tony h » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:07 pm

Ken Greenwald wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:40 pm
And your first cousin twice removed is the grandchild of your first cousin.
One point about removed is that does not have a direction. So, as in the above, your grandparents can be described as your first cousin twice removed.


The following diagram describes it quite well Image
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: remove (the noun)

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:01 am

Thanks to you both for that very useful and interesting info. Finally I have a clear idea of what the terminology means!

However, I am puzzling over the fact that not all the cousins in column 4 from the left are labelled as second cousins (some in the generations above "YOU" are described as first cousins); nor are all the cousins in column 5 labelled as third cousins (some in the generations above "YOU" are described as first cousins and second cousins). My guess is that these anomalies are actually the result of untrapped copy-and-paste errors.
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Re: remove (the noun)

Post by Phil White » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:10 pm

No, it makes sense, even if it is not easy. The "degree" counts the minimum number of ancestors you have to go back to find a common ancestor (you then have to subtract 1 for the uncle/aunt relationship). If you look at the relationship between "you" and anyone in column 5, you have the following:
  • Your first cousins twice removed in the fifth column have to go back two steps to find a common ancestor. Subtracting the great grand uncle/aunt relationship, this makes them first cousins. You would have to go back 4 steps (minus 1), but the first cousin relationship is the lower of the two.
  • Similarly with the second cousins once removed in the fifth column. They have to go back 3-1 steps and you still have to go back 4-1 steps. The lower number applies, hence second cousin.
  • In the case of the third cousins in the fifth column, both you and the cousins have to go back 4-1 steps to find a common ancestor, so you are third cousins.
  • For all other entries in the fifth column, however, you will only ever have to go back 4-1 steps to find the common ancestor, so the relationship will always be a third cousin, but with an increasing degree of removal as your cousins will then be one generation further down.
Reading across the table from "you", everyone on that line is of the same generation from the common ancestor as you are. Anyone above or below this horizontal line is "removed" by the difference in the number of generations' difference between you.

Ed. Perhaps to clarify, the sixth column would read, from top to bottom:
Great-great-great grandparents
Great-great grand uncles/aunts
First cousins thrice removed
Second cousins twice removed
Third cousins once removed
Fourth cousins
Fourth cousins once removed
Fourth cousins twice removed
Fourth cousins thrice removed
And the central horizontal line from you would read "you, brothers/sitters, first cousins, second cousins, third cousins, fourth cousins, ... tenth cousins ...

Another aspect of these tables is that anyone who is a direct ancestor of you is a grandparent (or great grandparent, etc.). Anyone who is a sibling of one of those ancestors is a (great ...) uncle/aunt. Your own siblings are brothers/sisters.

Similarly, working down the table, your direct descendants are ((great) grand) children and the descendants of your siblings are ((great) grand) nephews/nieces. Everyone else is a cousin of some description.
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Re: remove (the noun)

Post by Phil White » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:19 pm

tony h wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:07 pm
So, as in the above, your grandparents can be described as your first cousin twice removed.
No, your grandparents are your grandparents, not cousins of any degree or removal. The chart makes that clear.
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Re: remove (the noun)

Post by tony h » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:39 pm

Phil White wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:19 pm
tony h wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:07 pm
So, as in the above, your grandparents can be described as your first cousin twice removed.
No, your grandparents are your grandparents, not cousins of any degree or removal. The chart makes that clear.
If you look at the 3rd cousins box you will see both the one below and the one above are "once removed". The boxes Two above and two below are both "twice removed". The Parents, Grand parents, Aunt and uncle etc are just special cases of the "nth Cousin y removed".
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Re: remove (the noun)

Post by Phil White » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:01 pm

No. The very definition of "cousin" is somebody descended from a grandparent or older ancestor but in a different line. Your grandparents are in your direct line of descent and cannot therefore be cousins of any sort.

What this means is that there must be at some point a skip from the direct line of descent to a different line of descent via a sibling of your direct ancestor. There is no such movement between two lines in the case of your grandparents.

It could, I suppose, be possible to regard nephews and nieces as 0th cousins once removed, as they are on different lines. By the same token, uncles and aunts would be 0th cousins once removed.

Applying the mathematical logic I described above to its absurd extreme, grandparents would actually be -1th cousins twice removed.

Read my description again. It all makes sense.
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