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With Divorce Looming, Can We Drop the ‘Brangelina’?

Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, media sources reported Tuesday, shocking fans of the power couple known as Brangelina.

The end of a marriage is rarely something to celebrate, and when the marriage began with only signs of true love, it can be a very tragic thing.

Brad Pitt confirmed Tuesday that his wife of about two years, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce. The couple has six kids together, and the kids reportedly helped write their vows.

When a divorce breaks up a family with children involved, it can be even sadder.

Though they were only married in 2014, they’ve been a couple since 2004, captivating ridiculous levels of attention from fans who branded the couple “Brangelina.”

For some reason, it seems to be fashionable to reduce couples to a ridiculous nickname that mixes parts of their names to one. In grammatical circles, we’d refer to such reductions as a portmanteau. One of the most famous non-celebrity name examples is the word motel, which came to us from “motor hotel.”

But for some of us, celebrity portmanteaus are particularly annoying.

Some seem to believe the phenomenon started with “Bennifer,” from the days of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. But Elle magazine claims the first such name dates back to the 1920s with “Pickfair.” The problem is Pickfair was the name of a mansion owned by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. People didn’t go around referring to the couple with that name.

But apparently, these silly names aren’t going anywhere.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been dubbed “Kimye.”

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were “TomKat.”

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag (I’ve never heard of them) are “Speidi,” which sounds more to me like a nickname for a particular superhero.

And even presidential families aren’t immune, with former President Bill Clinton and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton forced to live with “Billary.”

There’s something disrespectful to me about these little nicknames: a couple may be one unit, but it’s still made up of two distinct personalities.

And, sadly, sometimes those personalities decide to part ways.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.