James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sat Nov 12 00:24:58 UTC 2011

There's a minor lexical shift in action (apparently fairly quick
action, since it's gone viral) with the word "murmuration": aside
from being a rare word for an act of murmuring, it's also long been a
rare collective noun for starlings. But the Huffington Post recently
posted a video doing that crazy group swooping thing that starlings
do and said "A murmuration, which this is, consists of thousands of
tiny starlings (birds) collectively flying and swirling about,"
evidently taking the collective for a word for that action. And now
on the NYT blogs there's a writer referring to "murmurating

For the links, buried in my various musings on the word, see my blog
(including the comments for the NYT link).

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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