As a teenager, I had the best English teacher.
The syllabus didn’t really interest him; he taught us useful stuff. A good vocabulary (the difference between ‘undulate’ and ‘ungulate’), a good memory (I can still recite large chunks of 'Ozymandias’), respect (if we yawned in his class, he’d sent the whole pack of us on a run to the school gates). He also introduced us to one of the greatest quirks of the English language – the Collective Noun.
Yesterday, I stumbled across a ‘create your own’ site for these. I took a moment to laugh my arse off – and to tweet out the link.
And discovered that other people are equally intrigued by this bizarre linguistic anomaly. So: just what IS the correct Collective Noun for Twitterers?
Here are some of the suggestions: -
@berinkinsman – an Ashton
@davedevereux – a Whale
@denny – a wail
@gt_p a byte
@paulgrahamraven – a nest
@sconsult – a procrastination
@solobasssteve – a bonfire (think about it)
@peacockpete – a crash
@rhiarti – a prattling
The final tallies from my twitterstream put ‘whale’ and ‘procrastination’ at the top of the list. (My own suggestion, ‘a Britney’, didn’t last beyond the first round – funny, that!)
The results were collated by @collectivenouns and listed here.
This is one of the things I love about twitter - no, not that other people actually get my love for the bizarre, but the global sense of humour, the desire to throw creative ideas round on a Sunday afternoon because... well, because we can. Seems a 'procrastination' is uncomfortably true (whodathinkit?) not to mention @elucid8's 'sleep-deprivation'!
Wordle courtesy of http://www.wordle.net/