Make Your Editor Cry: Ancestor vs Descendant
Your great-grandfather is your progenitor. You are his progeny.
Your great-grandfather is your ancestor. You are his descendant.
In the first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Albus Dumbledore proclaimed that Lord Voldemort was “the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin,” more than one person noted that the wise wizard had just made a serious verbal mistake. In later printings that phrase was corrected to read, “last remaining descendant.”
I am not picking on J. K. Rowling. Many people surprisingly and very often confuse these two terms even though they mean very different things.
I am the last remaining ancestor of my great-grandfather.
I am the last remaining descendant of my great-grandfather.
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.