An Unkindness of Ravens

Collective Nouns

My daughter’s English class’ content covered collective nouns. Is there a collective noun for Boston Terriers? I offer to the world: a snorgle of Bostons. (Snore plus grumble equals snorgle.)

How many collective nouns do you know?

A snuggle of sloths…A gaggle of hyenas….A skulk of thieves

There is a witty book called, An Exaltation of Larks by James Lipton, which contains explanations for about 1,000+ collective nouns. His book includes a game to play with collective nouns as well as historical information.

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What Glorious and Solitary bliss!

I chose my octopus logo primarily due to the fact that there isn’t a collective noun for octopuses. They are highly solitary and independent at least until breeding season. Some will say that the collective noun is a “consortium of octopuses.” Yes. Octopuses. Octopus is not a 2nd declension Latin ending although octopi has reigning credence in the minds of the populace. Octopodes is acceptable.

A second reason for my logo is that I am highly unsociable. As Agatha Christie sagely composed in her novel, Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, “The truth is I’m not very good with people.”

What bliss, what glorious and solitary bliss! What a mistake for an author to emerge from her secret fastness. Authors were shy, unsociable creatures, atoning for their lack of social aptitude by inventing their own companions and conversations.

Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, New York: Harper Collins, 1952. p. 174.

Now all I have to do is actually create my own companions and conversations.

Further Reading

Merriam-Webster article: “A Drudge of Lexicographers Presents: Collective Nouns

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