An embarrassment of pandas?
One of my favourite things about the English language is the abundance of odd collective nouns, especially for animals. For those who can’t remember back to their school days, collective nouns are those given to a group of things, such as a pride for lions, or a flock for birds. Some of my favourites have always been a murder of crows and a parliament of owls.
I stumbled across a website called All Sorts today, which is collecting user-generated collective nouns via Twitter. It keeps track of all the tweets containing the hashtag #collectivenouns and puts them in handy list form.
Some of the ones that have tickled my fancy have been a sulk of emos, a seemingly empty room of ninjas, and a slack of couch potatoes. There are far too many to look through right now!
I like sites like this because they prove that language is the property of the users. Everything is changeable!
Tweet your own collective nouns, or find a list of the more traditional ones on Wikipedia.
Image: Ivan Walsh from Flickr Creative Commons