Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Rascal of Boys

The tradition of using collective nouns that are specific to certain kinds of animals is at least 300 years old. More formally known as "terms of venery" these collective nouns were actually taught to the children of nobles and the ruling class as a means of distinguishing themselves from the commoners.

Sometimes the term used will apply to a group only in a certain context. A group of geese on the ground are referred to as a "gaggle" while, in flight, it is a "skein". Ironically, a group of Baboons is referred to as a "congress".

Some examples:

A mimsy of birds
A rascal of boys
A kaleidoscope of butterflies
A stumble of drunks

The coining of such terms is also a popular "parlor" or car game. So we're announcing a contest
today to come up with one or more terms for the following across three different websites. The prize for each is a signed Mindscape image from our Mindscape photo blog, valued at $295.

Please suggest a term for each or any of the following:

  1. A gathering of [name of any public figure]____________ supporters.
  2. A friendly gathering of "talking heads" on "Hardball with Chris Matthews"
  3. A screaming, blathering group of disagreeing "talking heads" on "Hardball with Chris Matthews"
  4. A group of expatriot Obama supporters
  5. A gathering of Sarah Palin supporters
  6. A group of Florida voters
  7. A group of Minnesota voters
  8. A group of Bill O'Reilly viewers forced to watch Keith Olbermann
  9. A group of Keith Olbermann viewers forced to watch Bill O'Reilly
  10. Add your own Linkgroup!
Submissions may be by email or as a comment added to this or any related post. Winners will be announced February 14, 2008.

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Skunk Cabbage - Sweet as Spring

My first trip into the woods after snowmelt this Spring was at that moment when only the Skunk Cabbage had pushed its way toward the light....