Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A long, splendid list of collective nouns

I came across a list of collective nouns today. The multitude of collective nouns is a real oddity of the English language, here are some of my favorites...

Birds:

A bellowing of bullfinches
A commotion of coots
A plump of ducks
A murder of crows
A gaggle of geese
A charm of goldfinches
A screw of hawks
A scoop of pelicans
An conspiracy of ravens
A squabble of seagulls
A gulp of swallows
A mutation of thrushes
A posse of turkeys
A committee of vultures


Mammals:

A coffle of asses
A flange of baboons
A destruction of wild cats
A coalition of cheetahs
A horde of gerbils
A journey of giraffes
A whoop of gorillas
A drift of hogs
A clan of hyenas
A mob of kangaroos
A mischief of mice
A cartload of monkeys
A romp of otters
A prickle of porcupines
A dray of squirrels
An ambush of tigers
An ugly of walruses
A sneak of weasels
A cohort of zebras


Invertebrates:

A culture of bacteria
A smack of jellyfish


Insects:

A kaleidoscope of butterflies
A business of flies
A scourge of mosquitoes


Amphibians and Reptiles:

A quiver of cobras
A congregation of crocodiles
A froggery of frogs
A rhumba of rattlesnakes
A knob of toads

... and People:

A conflagration of arsonists
A tabernacle of bakers
A galaxy of beauties
A blush of boys
A shuffle of bureaucrats
A sneer of butlers
A syndicate of capitalists
A drunkship of cobblers
A hastiness of cooks
A herd of harlots
A neverthriving of jugglers
An eloquence of lawyers
An illusion of magicians
A curse of painters
A poverty of pipers
A prudence of vicars
An ambush of widows

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Frank Sidebottom and Heroin

In light of recent events, I'm going to break my blogging silence and share a brief, but strange story...

In about 1992, by chance I bought a Sinclair Spectrum game called "The Biz". I didn't know anything about the game, but discovered that it was endorsed by Frank Sidebottom. The game looked very cheaply produced, yet it was intensely addictive. You basically manage a rock band and try and get them to the top of the charts.

Flash forward about 13 years. It's 2005 and I screened one of my short films at a club in Manchester called Filmonik. The programmer of The Biz is there (Chris Sievy) and he screens a strangely avant-garde film that features Frank Sidebottom. The penny suddenly drops that the programmer of The Biz *was* Frank Sidebottom.

After the screening, I approached Chris and introduced myself. I told him that in my early teens I got hooked on The Biz. He replied "was it like heroin?". I replied "huh?", and he told me that when he programmed this game, his manager started playing it, and he got so addicted that his wife told Chris that it was like her husband was on heroin.

So that's how Chris Sievy touched my life. Rest in Peace, dear boy.