Current Essays

The Groping of Groups On:2008-09-26 04:19:25

XenAchi.jpgzenoTort.jpgAs you've probably noticed I have a slight (and I'd like to take this opportunity to emphasize that word---slight, really slight, really really slight)  a SLIGHT tendency to get worked up about things that do not similarly exercise some people (and I'd like now to take this other opportunity to emphasize that in logic absolutely anything less than all, than everyone, than the totality; is some---for example, some Ancient Greeks didn't give a damn about how much faster than Achilles the tortoise was , nor how the cute crusted little thing could keep his small beak ahead of Achilles' big one, nor yet that Achilles was perhaps being a bit of a heel when took on a poor tiny tortoise in the first place, almost all of them indeed preferring exercise especially, since they were Ancient Greeks, in the nude----where was I ---Oh! Yes...)

So, in that spirit of differenced exercisement, let me lament to you the paucity in modern times of collective nouns. And, further, since there is such a dearth I suppose I should acquaint you with the depth of linguistic subtly from which you thoroughly modern ...moderns are excluded. As a group, Collectives (what we should for consistency think of as a concatenation of collectives) cover the whole spectrum of human experience (or rather they did from the High Middle Ages--when they were highly regarded---until quite recently).
There were common ones like:
a clowder of cats
or soaring poetical ones such as:
an exultation of larks
and many that came from such ancient disciplines as venery such as:
a wedge of geese
a siege of bitterns
a nye of pheasant
a murder of crows
a cete of badgers
a sord of mallard
a bevy of roebuck
(and not as the more elderly among you would probably guess:
a Sears of roebuck)
and so forth sæcula sæculorum, list without end....

But now in our modern degeneracy we have fallen far from the golden age of collectives.
And you Americans are, of course, and without a doubt, the worst in this respect---otherwise what would be the point of writing an essay about it.
As far as I can tell, you have, natively, one collective noun 'bunch' which you apply to everything and it in turn has but one intensive 'whole' which you apply to most things, as for example:
 "There's a bunch of us going to the show tonight "
or as when some random American might happen to see one of the Great Lakes for the first time and, no doubt impressed beyond measure, will immediately exclaim:
 "Gee! There's a whole bunch of water!"
or similarly seeing the Grand Canyon
 "Wow! There's whole bunch of ... of ... of canyon!"
or  even
"I just bought a bunch of grapes at the store".

In view of this example, I have decided to make it my life's work to remedy our sad state---and since we will of course now need terms for more modern groups, I've taken the liberty of introducing a few, and I'll be obliged if you'll pass them on to the collectively impoverished populace at large.
Here they, are starting with the rather obvious:
a spam of e-mail
an eructation of drinkers of fizzy-drinks
a lardaceousness of burgers
a tremor of seismologists
an advisory of weathermen (or in extreme cases an alert)
a lie of political candidates (with the intensive downright)
and then, with today's economic situation in mind:
a blindness of economists
a bloat of CEOs (with the obvious intensive evil as in  "the evil bloat of CEOs who fiddled all the way to the bank while the economy burned should be doing seven to ten in Attica!"
a bailout---no-I-mean-no-more-bailouts---no-I-mean-some-bailouts-Oh-God-what-are-we-going-to-do-apart-from-wring-our-hands of reserve and central banks.
And of course, even though there could only ever be one of them, 

a Cheerio-for-now
Richard Howland-Boltons


And of course missing from the above ---An inundation of Polish Plumbers

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