Monday, April 10, 2006

A fury of collective nouns.

bogAh what etymological bliss i've been basking in the last few days. The english language with all its nuance and complexity is not completely devoid of its absurdities, and collective nouns seem to be at the forefront of idiocy. It seems that collective nouns are the final frontier for wordsmiths. No real rules per se. Any two-bit slinger of prhrases can decide on a collective noun for any of the zillions of nouns out there, and it will be certified as completely valid by the men in robes that declare and certify such things. I recently read someone declaring that a group of Cathedrals or many cathedrals should be reffered to as a "Floon".

Example: In the mid 1200s europe saw a Floon of Cathedrals explode onto the scene.

What scene, and how a cathedral or even a "Floon" of them may explode onto it, is neither here nor there. The point here is that we have free reign over the lingua anglica, and by guff we should use it.

So in my excitement to engage in the race to name all collectives in the known universe, I started doing a bit of research. Oh mercy, can it get any more silly than some of these?

Baboons can come in a Tribe or a Flange, but a group of Apes is referred to as a Shrewdness.

Birds have a a veritable sub category of collectives:
congregation of birds
dissimulation of birds
flight of birds
flock of birds
volery of birds

Whereas Lizards have ony the word "Lounge" to describe an assembly.

A lounge of lizards...
Can we safely add a "Hump" of poodles to the list?

Animals are, of course the easy way to introduce the world of CN. A "Gaggle", a "Pod", a "School" a "Pride", and the famed "Murder" (Of crows)are all little nouns we revel in when we can use them, but oh to describe humanity and careers!

Shall we? (These are all legit)
A Wunch of Bankers
A Shuffle of Bureaucrats
A Thicket of Idiots

I find that one particularly apt, since often you have to cut through a thicket to get to your destination.

A Ponder of Philosophers
An Ambush of Widows

Its very strange to me what a weird place in society the widow played in days gone by. Now of course the widow is sort of like an extreme divorcee, but not a group deserving the title "Ambush". I think an Ambush of Exes, is more a propos.

To that extent, I should wish to offer a few of my own invention for your learned consideration:

A Slick of Agents
A Bung of Producers
A Cathouse of Debutantes
A Sigh of Hipsters
A Mosh of Punks
A Tolkien of Nerds
An Ire of Girlfriends

The possibilities are endless, and so it seems is this post.
I've a Clode of Submissions to send to a Modwinkle of Casting Directors.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I introduced you to the Boggle graphic. Your world.......expanding.


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