Friday, December 2, 2011


Okay, I love this stuff.  

Actually, I just finished laughing out loud, which is not something I do very much while I’m reading articles online.  So, what was it that turned me into a chortling, snorting, quivering ball of…?

Well, it all started with a short Atlantic article by Eric Randall on exactly which wedding announcements make it into the coveted weekend edition of the Sunday New York Times.   Now, of course, to even care about this topic it helps if you’re looking in the Times for someone in your immediate family or a close family friend who’s been recently married (I’m not) OR you’re addicted to reading these kinds of things generally (again, I’m not)  OR you’re a sociologist, cultural anthropologist, or practicing genealogist (okay, kinda guilty here.)

So, who gets chosen? 

Actually, rather than me telling you how things seem to be, why not read the Randall article for yourself?  Here’s the click-through to the article itself.  

Buried in the article there’s a hyperlink to another article by Katie Baker that gives the actual metrics that you may want to use to increase your offspring’s odds of getting in the NYT "Weddings/ Celebrations" section someday.  Think easy-to-understand statistics.

Now, if you’ve never read Katie Baker’s brilliant treatise that appeared last July called “Matrimonial Moneyball”, here’s the actual link.  

Ms. Baker writes (albeit usually about sports) for Grantland, a sports and pop culture site that is likely not on the current reading list of most genie types, but when it comes to the stuff that is the “meat and potatoes” for those of us who are, she’s certainly nailed it here.  After you finish reading this, if you go to the Grantland homepage and click on her picture, you’ll get a list of her other columns.  The ones on the NYT Weddings section (there are several) are well worth perusing.

For genealogists who live and breathe in hopes of finding lots of good stuff about ancestral weddings in long-ago newspapers, this is a great read.

Who knew how easy it was to game the system? 

Of course, once you know the rules, you can practically guarantee a NYT “Weddings/Celebration” section mention for your offspring/descendants.

(Think “Yale/lawyer-banker/gay/Greenwich, CT/Founding Father-entrepreneur ancestor”)

And, by the way, the Grantland website is named for the great sportswriter Grantland Rice, who wrote some nice things about my grandfather when he was pitching for the Chicago White Sox back in the day...

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