Reading time: Less than 1 minute
This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an article on collective nouns from the Language Matters blog by the Oxford Dictionaries…
Collective nouns — names for a group of people or things — often make me smile. So many of them are either charming or funny or both. Consider, for example:
a blush of boys
a stalk of foresters
a fluther of jellyfish
a shrewdness of apes
a bellowing of bullfinches
a glaring of cats
a parade of elephants
a bloat of hippopotami
an exaltation of larks
a labour of moles
and, my longtime favourite: a murder of crows.
I’m going to start reading this blog regularly. I enjoyed learning that,
the first collective nouns were typically ones for groups of animals and birds. A parliament of rooks, a murmuration of starlings, and an unkindness of ravenscan each be traced back as far as the fifteenth century.
Some people collect stamps, others recipes. Me? I like collecting words. Especially collective ones. Thanks for sending me this link, Ray.