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The Inside-Joke Explanation Thread | Main | Any Guesses?
July 09, 2006

Re-Post: Obscure Collective Nouns For Groups Of Things

Old post. If you read the inside-joke explanation thread, you might have seen the mention that the old schtick used to be that this site was a lavishly-funded group effort, with a huge staff and gorgeous corporate offices on the secret 103rd floor of the Empire State Building. That's why there's the reference to the "staff" and stuff.

(And that, by the way, is a direct swipe from Mark Leyner's Et Tu, Babe, which I've always acknowleged. His basic premise. But no one seems to have read that book, so it didn't seem right to let a good premise die a lonely death just because his publisher didn't market his book very well. So I "reintroduced" the schtick for what seems to be, sadly, a larger audience.)

...

Since I was a kid, I always enjoyed the humorous and sometimes poetic group-names given to different animals. It was interesting that one said a school of fish but a pack of wolves; it was fun that one said a parliament of owls and an exultation of larks. A shrewdness of apes, a crash of rhinoceroses, an ostentation of peacocks-- just great stuff.

And of course it was just flat-out cool that one said a murder of crows.

But this practice was also extended to naming groups of people. One could say a skulk of thieves (cool!), a rascal of boys (cute!), and, if one could keep a straight face, a neverthriving of jugglers (goofy!).

I don't know if I'd ever actually say a superfluidity of nuns, but it's nice to know that I could, if I wanted to.

I threw the crack Ace of Spades HQ Etymology and Semiotics Department at into researching other collective-names. After 1200 billable hours of research, all paid for by the ultra-secretive cryptofascist benefactor we know only as "Mr. Tranh," we've discovered even more collective-nouns for groups of people, these more relevant to the world we live in today. We plan to use these in everyday conversation; we hope you'll find some use for them too.

... from the Home Office in Pocatello, Idaho...

Top Ten Lesser-Known Collective Nouns for Different Groups of People

10. A gesticulation of Italians

9. A corruption of Congressmen

8. A moustache of policemen

7. A tumescence of pornstars

6. A shriek of liberals

5. A waddle of Rosie O'Donnells

4. An armpit of feminists

3. An insignificance of Canadians

2. A malodor of Frenchmen (also acceptable: a quavering of Frenchmen; a surrender of Frenchmen)

...and the Number One Lesser-Known Collective Noun for a Group of People...

1. A crimewave of Kennedys

Honorable Mentions:

A doddering of seniors

A twaddle of Democrats

A condescension of reporters

A kegger of collegians

A genocide of Germans

A trust-fund of "peace" marchers

A vapidity of Maureen Dowds


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posted by Ace at 08:47 PM

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