Collective nouns have long been a source of literary interest. We’re all familiar with a herd of cows, a school of fish and a flock of birds. Then, there are some that are lesser known: a gang of buffalos, a convocation of eagles, and a pod of whales.
In today’s world, we are finding many more ways to make the group terminology a bit more colorful and descriptive in describing aggregations of all sorts, especially when applied to collections of people. Schools provide one of the most fertile arenas for new phrases and labels – regardless of the unimaginative labels of the old guard.
Those elected men and women who work with education policies are a faux of politicians. They harass the school board into hiring an indenture of educators whose job it is to manage a pandemonium of young people. These youngsters come in three collective groups: those who do well. (a sponge of students); those who get by (a resistance of pupils); and those who fail (an absence of minds). As they reach double-digit ages, all transform into a curse of teenagers.
In the male gender, we find a squirm of boys who mature into an ego of adolescents. Later they grow to be a belch of men.
We can’t forget their counterparts: of a babble of girls and a backstab of adolescents. As adults, they can be classified as one or both of the following: a gossip of women and a nag of wives. Some may gather together in later years as a weep of widows.
While the word “team” is a very good and useful word, a more contemporary mental picture is drawn by a shallow of jocks. If one needs to be more specific, there are choices like a bench of basketballers and a spike of volleyballers. They are supported by a frenzy of cheerleaders, sometimes referred to as a fluff. (N.B. The term “fluff” is also more common in the music arena, referring to the marching band’s adjunct, majorettes.)
Speaking of music, we can’t forget a cacophony of horns, a screech of clarinets, and a diatribe of drums, which combined should be known as a myriad of notes. Is your school myriad large enough to sport a complete oom-pah of tubas?
I hope that all readers will see the vast improvement in this descriptive, new vocabulary describing groups and join me as we rise into a new group: a nit of wits.