A Shrewdness of Apes? Collective Nouns Are a 500-Year-Old Language Fad

A Shrewdness of Apes? Collective Nouns Are a 500-Year-Old Language Fad

\"They're called 'terms of venery,' and they're linked to Norman culture and influence, and to the idea of 'proper' hunting language.\" Because you can't keep the kids from making up slang, once the construction was introduced in the Book of St. Albans, people started coining their own nouns of assemblage. The Book of St. Albans lists an \"unkyndenes of ravenes\" and a \"murther of crowes.\" AdvertisementAdvertisementInsectsThere are curiously few nouns of assemblage for insects mentioned in The Book of St. Albans. Dogs, which were as much a man's best friend in the Middle Ages as today, got a lot of play in The Book of St. Albans.

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