Blended family – the democracy of new wordsPosted by Beth Penfold on October 14, 2010
Check out this recent entry in the Macmillan Open Dictionary, blended family. A blended family is one formed from previous, unsuccessful relationships and replaces the old term, stepfamily. I don’t actually like this phrase; it suggests they’ve all been mixed up in a food processor, and I think it is a victim of the current fashion for everything to be blended: blended learning and blended search are just a couple of examples. I admit, however, that blended family is both effective and clear in its meaning. I can imagine it becoming popular.
So I mustn’t whinge about new words that I don’t like; after all – language is a democracy.Email this Post
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Hi Beth. I’ve just found this term in a German-English online dictionary: http://dict.leo.org/forum/viewUnsolvedquery.php?idThread=142289&idForum=1&lp=ende&lang=de (I’m referring to the 2nd post)
According to this, “blended family” has been in use already in summer ’06 and would therefore not be a victim of a current fashion.
In Germany they call it a “patchwork family” which for me is more accurate than “blended” because each member retains their uniqueness but they’re joined together to form one piece with all it’s different colours and patterns.