Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a din of parrots

What's the collective noun for a bunch of parrots?

I have decided it's "a din"

As in "the din of parrots outside in my tree are making it difficult for me to concentrate".

Because, you know, like, they're also making a great din. So it's got, like, you know, double meaning, which is like, you know, all cool and, you know, whatever....

This is the level of articulate writing and thinking the parrots are reducing me to.

(Not really. I'm just looking for a reason not to start looking at the APA manual)

Wikipedia suggests otherwise....prattle, pandemonium and company...all referring to parrots. But it also says "citation needed"...so I'm offering up "din" as an alternative for those of us who don't like alliteration, or who object to discourses of marketing and business infiltrating every sector of modern life, including now it seems collective nouns referring to parrots.


Catriona said...

I'd say they got them (whether directly or indirectly) from James Lipton's An Exaltation of Larks, which is a collection of collective nouns drawn from a vast number of sources (and including some nouns that I suspect are specious, invented by Lipton himself).

He offers both "a prattle of parrots" and "a company of parrots," but only if "company" is used as a pun.

I'm not sure what he means by that.

Wendy said...

"as a pun"....no me neither

What a great title for a book! An Exaltation of Larks....I think larks might win the prize for the best collective noun

Catriona said...

I think I'd like "exaltation of larks" better if I had more than the barest comprehension of what a lark actually is. (And my barest comprehension is only based on the first couple of lines of a Percy Shelley poem, which I think is called "Ode to a Skylark," so I'm not sure I could pick a skylark out of a line-up.)

I think I'll stick with "a murder of crows" and "an unkindness of ravens."

Wendy said...

yes I have to admit I have little working knowledge of larks except from Romeo and Juliet and Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" - which is where I get the idea that it's pretty special.

However, an "unkindness of ravens" sounds fantastic as well...now I'm really torn....

the din has been a little dulled from the rain now though which is good

Catriona said...

You have rain? Man, I'm jealous. It doesn't look as though it will ever rain down here again.

(There's a lark in Romeo and Juliet? Is that in the morning-after scene where they're trying to convince each other that it was actually a nightingale, another bird about which I know nothing?)

Wendy said...

yes...the morning after...I think it goes something like "it was the nightingale and not the lark...blah, blah, blah"....I know nothing about the habits of either so the significance of it was always a little lost on me but i'm guessing one means it's morning...perhaps the lark? Or perhaps it's more metaphorical than that? I'm sure there's someone out there who knows these things :)

yes nice rain...has gone out to sea now though i think...sun is shining

Catriona said...

If I remember my H. E Bates correctly, nightingales do sing during the day, sometimes, but are one of the few songbirds that are essentially nocturnal in habit.

(Although I'm assuming by "nocturnal," I actually should be talking about dusk, which is just an unfamiliar concept to anyone raised in Australia except maybe for some Tasmanians.)

So they're arguing that the dawn chorus is actually the nightingale singing in the dark.

I think I'll stick to John Donne. Romeo and Juliet frankly creeps me out a little: why was the nurse so obsessed with Juliet's sexual experience? In fact, why was everyone so desperate for the two of them to sleep together, under the circumstances?

Wendy said...

i suppose if they didn't sleep together there would be no plot and they wouldn't end up dead and therefore no tragedy?
Just guessing!
now you point it out the nurse is a bit of a weird character...and in the end didn't do a very good job of looking after juliet because she ended up dying. hmmm...nurse for hire? i don't think so!

glad you've solved the mystery of the birds though!