Sunday, November 28, 2010


Long-time logophiles know that curious words crop up to describe groupings of animals. An unkindness of ravens, a parliament of owls, so forth. And on the same day that a friend of mine was bemoaning the sheer number of metaphors she had to wade through, I came across this delightful Wondermark comic.

So I thinks to myself, what's the word for a whole bunch of metaphors crammed together? A commonwealth? A congress? A translucence? Then I had it. And after spending more than a little time that should have been spent sleeping and precisely NO time researching whether or not this had been done before, I had it. Collective nouns. For English.

You're welcome.
  • A mix of metaphors.
  • A likeness of similes.
  • A pause of commas (suggested by Andrew).
  • A stoppage of periods (also suggested by Andrew)
  • A tensor of parentheses.
  • A squadron of semicolons.
  • An ass-load of regular colons
  • An impertinence of innuendo.
  • A Constitution of articles.
  • An obviousness of foreshadowings.
  • A head of metonyms.
  • A confession of references.
  • A forest of symbols.
  • Anastrophe of vector a.
  • A ray of hyphens.
  • An aside of dramatic ironies.
  • A misinterpretation of regular ironies.
  • A happening of gerunds.
  • A perigrination of participles.
  • of in medias res.
  • A constellation of authors.
  • A recurrence of flashbacks.
  • A missive of quotations.
  • A spl-fucking-it of tmeses.
  • A skyscraper of isocolons.
  • A frustration of anticlimaxes.
  • A good relationship of climaxes.
  • A stormcloud of pathetic fallacies.
  • An implausibility of allegories.
  • An association of analogies.
  • A sponnybrook of doonerisms.
  • A tautology of tautologies.
  • A siege of ontologies.
  • An antibiotic of non sequiturs.
  • An inzameling of polyglots.
  • A reunion of cognates.
  • An ENTIRE FUCKING UNIVERSE of hyperbole.
  • A stream of consciousness.
  • An asylum of grammarians.
  • An irrelevance of bloggers.


  1. It makes me sad that some of these are over my head (damned education, what good were you!) but the spoonybrook of doonerisms is my favorite.

  2. By suggestion from Chris, I am hereby editing "An opulence of colons" to read "An assload of colons." Because that's the level of highbrow we strive for here.