Ganging up – a look at collective terms

Ganging up – a look at collective terms

​Last month’s Wordsmith’s World was inspired by TV – an episode of Pointless Celebrities.

This month I’ve been back in front of the box again and it’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown that had me scribbling the theme of my copywriting blog down as I watched.

More specifically, the show’s resident lexicographer Susie Dent who was talking about collective nouns.

She talked us through a few we may well have heard of (a murmuration of starlings, an exaltation of larks) which reminded me of this Mental Floss article which contains some of my favourite collective nouns for animal including:

  • A flamboyance of flamingoes.
  • A pod of pelicans.
  • A kaleidoscope of butterflies.
  • A dazzle of zebras.


The article also included ‘a scourge of mosquitos.’

Not lovely. They certainly live up to that term when they’re biting me throughout the summer, and I – being allergic – am reacting and flaring up in a big, red rage.

Susie suggested that viewers check out some of the #moderncollectivenouns on Twitter:

  • A foot-hurt of Lego
  • A drain of i-Phone batteries
  • A blur of opticians
  • A lot of auctioneers

And this in turn got me thinking about the collective I work with – the gang here at HRM.

What would the collective term be for each of the different jobs we HR Medians do on a daily basis?

Here’s a few suggestions for #HRMmoderncollectivenouns …

  • A hashtag of social media managers
  • A kerning of graphic designers
  • A jump-cut of video editors
  • An effervescence of event managers
  • An audience of award application writers
  • An ellipsis of copy editors

And as for us copywriters?

There can be only one – an em dash of copywriters