Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu May 4 23:37:18 EDT 2000

On Fri, 5 May 2000 10:37:34 +0800 (WST), Paul Andinach wrote:

>Nothing wrong with 'identical' boy-girl twins. *Shakespeare* used
>identical boy-girl twins.
>(Anyway, are they actually impossible, or just horrendously unlikely?)

Some other brilliant people have already pointed out that they *are*
impossible.  :)  The likelihood of fraternal twins looking exactly alike is
no greater or worse than the likelihood of a couple having two babies from
separate pregnancies who look exactly alike.  It's just that twins have this
mystique (plus they grow up at the same rate, so the similiarity would be
more striking).  And the onset of puberty would almost have to eliminate any
similarity between boy-girl twins, too.  At least I would hope so.  I would
hate to be a guy who could be mistaken for a woman, unless I was making a
living at it.  :)

To be fair to Pierce, she doesn't call them identical twins; she says that,
except for the length of their hair, Thom and Alanna look exactly alike.
But unlike in Shakespeare, the mistaken-identity thing isn't the point of
the book; it's only important at the beginning when each has to pass for the
other long enough to get on the road.  And by the second book, everyone
knows Alanna's a girl anyway.  It's still enough for my hyper-critical
snobby elitist brain to scream "GIMMICK!!!"

Melissa Proffitt
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