By Robert Lucke
Yesterday down the Milk River Valley I saw a gaggle of geese. Shortly after that I saw a murder of crows. That reminded me that I have never seen an exaltation of larks. However, that is the name of a book by James Lipton that uses very colorful and descriptive adjectives to describe people and animals in the wild and not in the wild.
Say there is a breakdown of plans. That is covered in a comedy of airline schedules, a tragedy of railroad schedules, a hover of helicopters, a stack of planes, a postponement of trains or a cancellation of trains.
Or how about birds, fish and animals. A shiver of sharks, a scurry of squirrels, a glint of goldfish, a pounce of cats, a scold of jays, a chain of bobolinks, a wake of buzzards, a run of coyotes, a romp of otters, a gaze of raccoons, an implausibility of gnus and a kettle of fish.
Interested in education? There is a plenitude of freshmen, a platitude of sophomores, a gratitude of juniors, an attitude of seniors, a fortitude of graduate students, an avunculus of alumni, a clamber of assistant professors, a tenure of associate professors, an entrenchment of full professors, a drowse of underachievers, a leap of overachievers, a pallor of night students, a drift of lecturers, a brood of researchers and a discord of experts.
Then there is a glaze of tourists, a plague of locals, an expectation of heirs, a gush of sycophants, a brood of boors, a bed of swingers, a grope of groupies, a shriek of contestants, and a travesty of transvestites.
And a pot of dieters, a dish of gossips, a pan of reviewers, a scoop of reporters, a magnum of hit men and a split of debtors.
Yes, yes this is an outdoor story. A cete of badgers, a cast of hawks, a deceit of lapwings, an ostentation of peacocks, a drove of cattle, a bouquet of pheasants, a mustering of storks, a descent of woodpeckers, a sounder of swine, a dray of squirrels, an army of caterpillars, a flight of swallows, a cry of players, a watch of nightingales, a barren of mules, a shrewdness of apes, a route of wolves, a murmuration of starlings, a spring of teal, a smack of jellyfish, a knot of toads, a congregation of plovers, an unkindness of ravens, a most of sparrows, a richness of martens, a bale of turtles, a hover of trout, a husk of hares and a parliament of owls.
Enough of the wildlife! A herd of harlots, a superfluity of nuns, a school of clerks, a converting of preachers, a doctrine of doctors, an incredulity of cuckolds, a rage of maidens, and a skulk of thieves.