Many years ago I was writing a book, I'm embarassed to say I don't remember which one but I think it was Just Say Know, and I wanted to use a list of 'group' words. I searched around and found a book that fit the bill. That book has been in our bathroom, through three different houses, ever since. Without question it is Joe's favourite book.
Almost every day Joe pulls different things out of the book and reads them to me. I know that after all these years I've heard them all ... twice. So as my enthusiasm was lessening I found that he's tried to addict his niece Shannon to his quirky interest in word families.
I came across an email from him to her (we share our emails, I wasn't snooping) which had the word Venery in the subject line and read thusly:
Did that subject line catch your eye? I've been meaning to write to you about one of my favourite reference books. Can one have a favourite reference book you might rightly ask? Beyond the OED is there such a thing? There is I reply heartily! (note exclamation point)
One Mr. James Lipton wrote a book on venery (couldn't find a definition on line) however, people have been making lists of things since the 12th Century and even before. What am I prattling on about? You know "a pride of lions", "a murder of crows". Well in his book "An Exaltation of Larks" (ain't that grand) under the heading of Home and Family (and I thought of you), Mr Lipton suggests the following:
a persistence of parents,
an ingratitutde of children,
a consternation of mothers,
a distraction of fathers,
a suffocation of aunts,
a bluster of uncles, and my fave
a mutter of mothers-in-law.
I've been driving Dave batty with these as I make a daily pronouncement: a flush of plumbers, a sesame of locksmiths, an ostentation of peacocks, a twaddle of public speakers. Anyway back to work. Beware, more may come your way.
I smiled at the mere idea that Joe had someone new to 'fascinate' with his hobby. It struck me, after getting an email asking if I was ever going to do another Chewing the Fat contest ... that this might be just the perfect little game.
The rules, simple, take a disability experience and give it a group name ... like a token of behaviourists; a report of professionals; an avalanche of advice; a frustration of stairs; an embarrassment of stares; a hop of crutches ... well, you get the idea.
What's the prize?
1st prize 100 'You all laugh because we are different, we all laugh becuase you are the same' post cards.
They look like this ... I am a terrible photographer and couldn't get the flash out, but they are very cool post cards ... take a look.
We will announce the winner one week from today.