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Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Group of Creatures: The Proper Terms

The dictionary informs me that the proper term for a group of larks is an exaltation.  Isn’t that descriptive?  An exaltation of larks!
You outdoor people probably think you’re smart and know all the terms for groups of creatures.
Let’s test your knowledge.
How about an easy one to start with?  What is a group of grouse? “Covey” you probably said thinking that was too easy.  Covey actually means “family” of grouse.  Actually, a group of grouse larger than a covey (family of 2.5) is called a pack.
To know the difference between a covey and a pack you will have to distinguish between members of the immediate family and distant relations who have moved in for a bit of freeloading.  This is not difficult since the freeloaders are the grouse that get up at noon and go around unshaven, asking “what’s for supper?”

Ok, now a little tougher.  What is the proper term for a group of ferrets?  Come on, don’t just sit there scratching your head—guess.  It is a business of ferrets.  What business are ferrets in…I think loan-sharking?

How about a group of geese?  Flock is correct, but only if the geese are standing around killing time.  If the group of geese is flying, it becomes a skein.  If the geese are on the water, they’re a gaggle.  If you said a bunch of gooses, you are banned from the contest and must now call yourself a “city folk” instead of a “nature lover.”

How about a group of elk?  They are called a gang.

A few of my favorites among the terms for groups of creatures is a crash of rhinoceros.  A group of toads is called a knot.  A group of bears is called a sloth.  Not exactly the visual I think of when I see a group of bears.

Here are a few others, just for fun:
A convocation of eagles
A charm of hummingbirds.
A skulk of foxes.
A chattering of starlings.
A mustering of storks.
An unkindness of ravens.
A siege of herons.
A leap of leopards.
A murder of crows.

When I come upon a group of anything, I call it a whole mess of them and am done with it!

Now that you have been educated about groups of creatures, try the quiz out on your friends.  No one will really care but everyone will be interested for a short while. 

P.S. No one will care if you use the wrong word for a group of animals that are licking their chops as they approach you and your friends in the wild.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new  definition. 

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating..

The  Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which  readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee (n.) The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.) Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate (v.) To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.) To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.) Impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.) Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.) To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.) Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.) A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.) A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.) The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n.) A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.) A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.) The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.) An opening in the front of  boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Drama! Are we addicted?

The drama shows are rated as the highest watched shows on television. We all seem to enjoy passing the time watching these dramas, however, unreal they may be.  We get sucked in!  

Do you sometimes wonder why you are wasting your time watching a television show that is so crazy?  With so many people being pleasers in the world and hating conflict, I have to question why the shows are rated so high and who is watching them?   Is it the pleaser that secretly loves to talk to the television about these conflicts?  What makes television drama accepted when friends with that much drama in their lives generally drains the life out of us?

People talk about avoiding drama like the plague but the television ratings tell us something different.  Do we all secretly enjoy the drama when it is in another person’s life?   Do we need drama in our lives?

We are sometimes attracted to drama people.  Why is that? Don’t get me wrong, drama people can be a ton of fun too.  Their lack of boundaries make them that way.  It can be a very “extreme” relationship with them.

I got the opportunity to preview a new exercise video done by Mel B recently.  It is full of drama.  Mel B is vocal in how tough the exercises are the entire way through the video and almost slips with some cursing at one point.  The thing that I am critical of in exercise videos is that for some reason, the instructors rarely keep track of the repetitions and they continually work one side of the body more than the other. Shouldn’t keeping count be a “basic” if you are doing a video on fitness? 
I will admit that it was fun to see a celebrity sweat and complain about a work out but I had to turn off the volume to get through the routine.  The complaining and drama were distracting to the task.

I had to ask myself a few questions.  If this really is her routine training, I had to feel for her trainer!  I also had to speculate that if this is her routine, why was she complaining so much about it?  Should her muscles be use to it by now?  If you like drama (or just enjoy seeing someone in pain) you might check it out.

For me, drama is great for telling stories… just like television.  In REAL life it is called stressful and annoying!