25 thoughts on “A Gaggle Of Collective Nouns

  1. Sam

    I think collective nouns, for the most-part are either a waste of time, or a pretentious affectation.
    Beyond shoals of fish, flocks of birds, herds of cattle etc it’s perfectly fine to say a ‘group’ instead of ridiculous contrived phrases like a ‘murder of crows’ or a ‘harass of horses’ – which sounds more like animal cruelty than description of a group, and is of no practical use other than to answer an obscure question on QI.

    I say the collective term for collective terms is a ‘redundancy’.

    1. Avon Barksdale

      Take that, Dave Ganly and his wife. That’ll teach you to be productive while hungover

      1. Sam

        Ah, it’s a fun game for passing the time, or for poetic literature, but can you imagine if someone told you that you were not using correct English if you referred to a swarm of jellyfish instead of a fluther of the feckers?
        Being understood is rather central to communication.

    2. Joe the Lion

      It’s a school of fish, a shoal of herring

      Dave – you spelled school wrong mate in your graphic, nice game

      1. Sam

        Can you give me any good reason why there should be a different collective noun for ghoti fish, and herring?

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          Good reason 1. For folk who fish herring
          Good reason 2. For folk who study herring
          Good reason 3. For folk who create / observe distracting clues.

          1. Sam

            That’s not a good reason for using a different term depending on which species of fish it is, nor for anyone to consider a ‘shoal of fish’ to be an invalid term.
            There are those who will even argue that it’s not species dependent, but behaviour dependent, and that ‘schooling’ and ‘shoaling’ are different types of gatherings of fish, but that’s a different (and boringly pedantic) argument which is not as clear cut as saying that a group of geese can only be a gaggle when not in flight.

          2. Tony

            Collective nouns are just makey-up, lyrical flourishes. A school or shoal of fish is fine for any type of fish. Likewise a flock of any kind of bird. People getting worked up about this are just a bunch of ****s.

          3. Tony

            Likewise, anyone who wants to use whatever collective noun to describe whatever collection of nouns is perfectly entitled to do so without being sniped at by some adjectival collection of nouns

    1. dave

      ^^ There are multiple sets of correct and incorrect answers, as there are multiple correct collective nouns for certain animals. There are also 27 different animals.

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