‘Longshoremen walked off the docks today. Rescue operations are continuing around the clock.”–George Carlin
A gaggle of geese…a pod of walruses….a murmuration of starlings…a pride of lions. It seem that interest in collective nouns, the colorful, if mostly archaic ones that define a specific group of the animal kingdom, is on a comeback. One article I read suggested some tongue in cheek, punny new monikers for specific groups of us humanoids. These included “an absence of waiters,” “an attitude of teenagers,” and “a brace of orthodontists.” So of course, the light bulb in my brain, dull as it is, flashed on. There are any number of people packs that deserve their own special sobriquet. Here are a few suggestions.
- A prevarication of politicians–pretty obvious
- A Trump of narcissists–also obvious
- A Cruz of theocrats–sadly obvious
- A neuter of veterinarians–considering I’ve been living with one for 40 years, it’s a miracle I’m still in tact.
- An enhancement of athletes–but this works only for those that don’t live with veterinarians
- A babble of talk show hosts–and it certainly seems there are a babble of them.
- An angst of existentialists–I resemble that
- A Xerox® of Copycats–Note the ®, no I.P. issues, please.
- A largess of lawyers–NOT!! (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)
- A regurgitation of acid reflux sufferers–Ewwww!
- A rash of dermatologists–It is, after all, allergy season
- A drowning of longshoremen–You should have seen that one coming.
Any suggestions for more? Join the vituperation of posters in the comments below.
“I would stare at a map of Delaware for hours.”–Ken Jennings
“Men read maps better than women because only men understand the concept of one inch equaling 100 miles.”–Roseanne Barr
1. The inability to read a map, or follow simple directions, generally caused by over-dependence on GPS monitors.
2. A wrong turn or disorientation caused by dysfunctional GPS software.
Away back in the 20th century, my wife referred to the malady described in the first definition above as geographical dyslexia. She suffers from it. I actually use her as a sort of reverse GPS–the surer she is we are going the right way, the surer I am we are lost. Now all we need is a neologism for whatever ails Ken Jennings. Any suggestions?
**OK, I admit it. After thinking this one up, I Googled it and discovered it already exists in the urban dictionary, but c’mon, it’s just too good not to use.
“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out the window.”–Steve Wozniak
computus interruptus— n. the spontaneous unwanted shutdown of a program or app on a computer, tablet or smart phone.
We’ve all been there. You’re just about done with the spread sheet, or you just found the eatery you want on Yelp, or you are on the verge of a record score on some dumb game. And then you click or tap or swipe and the program or app shuts down. Poof. It’s gone. Dear Mr. Hawking, please tell us which black hole it fell into and how do we get it back? Or do we do the Wozniakian thing and throw the device out the window? Oh look, I just created another neologism. Wozniakian. Isn’t this fun?
” I can’t wait to go home and wash all those socks.”–Julianne Moore
Let’s face it: daily life in the new millennium is full of any number of experiences that, well, there is just no word or words to describe. Enter Mr. World’s Most Cluttered Mind to come to the rescue. Herein lies the ultimate descriptionary for everything you wanted to curse out but had no easy descriptive way to do so. We’ll start, though, with a low tech dilemma, rooted in the 20th century.
Dysoxia–n. The anxiety caused by inability to match socks when they come out of the wash.
We’ve all experienced it. You get to the end of folding a basket of clean clothes, and there they are: two socks that don’t match. Even worse, maybe there is an odd number of socks left with no matches. Three. Five. (1083)+1.** There are any number of theories to explain this phenomenon. The socks are alien beings, and the missing one has reported back to its home planet. Socks are the larval form of wire hangers. A more scientific approach is my theory of frequent wash color drift: as socks get washed over and over, the color of each sock fades at different rates over time. This causes subtle mismatches which, when compounded by folding several pairs, may leave you with two socks at the end that are far apart in hue. How does this explain being left with an odd sock at the end? My guess is somewhere one sock disintegrated and its remains will be found in the lint drawer.
Please feel free to share your theories, and to suggest subjects for future editions of Mark’s Neologisms. Oh, and my advice to Ms. Moore? You’re a rich movie star. Don’t ever wash socks, you can afford to wear them once and throw them away.
** In case you were wondering how many socks (1083)+1 is–it is probably enough to fill the entire visible universe. And none of them would match.