I just learned a whole bunch of words that I didn’t know. Or more exactly, for the most part, I knew them, but with other meanings. So, obviously, I hasten to share these marvels with the friends of words. You have probably noticed that the groups of animals have very specific names: we are not talking about a school of squirrels, nor a herd of salmon, nor a pack of sparrows. We are talking about a school of fish (note, with a final c, the school of fish), a flight of birds, a pack of dogs, a cloud of locusts, etc. But I discovered a number of other names in a little book by Gariff and Judith Pincemin entitled Bands of animals!
Here, do you know what a bloating ?… No, not that ! The other meaning of bloating! A bloatingit is (also) a gathering… of hippopotamuses! It must be said that it is quite bloated, as a beast. For a group of rhinos, we speak of a crashwhile a set of seals is a haulout (we can see the seals stranded on the shore).
From meanness to kindness
And you know the expression “it’s small fry”? They are things or people of no great importance… Well a fry, it is a multitude of small fish. More impressive: we will speak of a thrill of sharks (brrr!), but the prettiest of these words, I think, is the one that designates a community of pink flamingos (with a T, the flamingo, otherwise it’s a Belgian): it’s a flamboyance ! And indeed, a gathering of pink flamingos is flamboyantly beautiful.
Ah but look, I think my favorite is the one that designates a flight of starlings: this is called a murmur ! Marvellous. You will also learn by browsing this book illustrated with beautiful animal photos that crows gathered on the ground form a wickednesswhile in the air they fly in kindness.
There are still plenty of wonders in this book. But the best part is that it is published by Éditions Lire c’est partir… The good news is that all the books published by Éditions Lire c’est partir are sold for 80 euro cents. It is a house that was created some twenty years ago in the form of a non-profit association, to promote access to books. Thirty to forty titles are published each year, with large print runs to lower the cost per copy. The books are never pounded, but stored, for years if necessary, and sold until the last. This is what allows this house to display these prices which effectively put the book within everyone’s reach. Their site, lirecestpartir.fr, is worth a visit!