a confusion of philosophers

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 20 09:49:45 UTC 2011

Jonathan Lighter wrote
> ... After attending a philosophy meeting,
> my son coined a term for such a group; said he: "You've heard of a
> parliament of owls; how 'bout a confusion of philosophers?"

A webpage about "Collective Nouns for Birds" (see link below) claims
that the collective noun "confusion" has already been allocated:
A Confusion of Guinea Fowl

Assigning the collective noun with humorous intent has been tried
before, but apparently no joke has achieved viral propagation status.
Here are a few attempts:

A confusion of teenagers

A Confusion of Accountant Interns

A witch's guide to gardening
Dorothy Jacob - 1965
a confusion of plants (like a pride of lions or a charm of goldfinches)

Data management: Volume 24
Data Processing Management Association - 1986
A confusion of analysts

Jonathan Lighter's message continued:
> My, my, how 'bout that?
> OED has "parliament of owls" from Lipton 1968 only:
> 1886 _The Current_ (Chicago, Ill.) (June 12) 388: [T]he stately edifice/
> That once was palpitant with prayer and praise,/ Re-echoes to a parliament
> of owls.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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