March 2020

Contents Related Letters

. . . Seeking New Words

Collective nouns can be delicious. Just ­consider these fine examples: a “sentence” of judges, a “scurry” of squirrels, a “superfluity” of nuns, a “pride” of lions, a “shiver” of sharks, a “murder” of crows (my personal favourite).

I’m embarking on a collection of new “­pluralia” — plurals for categories that (inexplicably) don’t yet have them. People. Professions. Animals. Inanimate things. Phenomena. Why not have a “harrumph” of lords, an “eye roll” of adolescents, a “slurp” of Labrador retrievers, or a “rash” of dermatologists?

The Literary Review of Canada has agreed to pass along your ideas for humorous, imaginative, or purely pragmatic collective nouns. If we get enough, we might be able to publish a fun column — or even get some into the dictionary!

Allan Peterkin, MD

The Literary Review of Canada welcomes your comments and feedback, which we may edit for length, clarity, and accuracy. Write to

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