Wednesday, November 27, 2013

old words, newly rediscovered

There on the front page of the New York Times today was a word I'd never seen before: murmuration. And a picture that made perfect sense: a large group of starlings in flight. That's the kind of sound they must make.

There are all sorts of collective nouns that sound out of place but have a long history:
-an unkindness of ravens
- a wake of buzzards
- a murder of crows
- a scold of jays
- a pride of lions

Growing up in the city, I learned only a few of the specialized terms and used herd or flock for most of the rest. But it's good to keep the old words alive, so take a look at the list.

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