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Max Maxfield Max Maxfield
9/17/2013 11:20 AM EDT  
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I was just pondering animal collective nouns (as one does). I was thinking that, on the one hand, we humans do tend to over-complicate things on occasion; on the other hand, we also tend to make the world a richer place in many ways.

When it comes to animals, for example, we could have simply picked a single word like "bunch" and then used it to apply to any group of animals, such as "a bunch of birds" or "a bunch of fish" or "a bunch of worms." This would, of course, have made our lives a lot simpler.

Alternatively, if we wanted to take things to the next level, we could have picked different words to cover each main group of animals. In the case of our feathered friends, for example, we could use "flock" for everything, such as "a flock of birds" or "a flock of chickens" or "a flock of penguins." Similarly, in the case of land-bound mammals, we could use "herd" for most of them, such as "a herd of cows" or "a herd of buffalo" or "a herd of zebra."

But this would have been far too simple, wouldn't it? (Also it would have prevented us from using phrases like "a gaggle of wives" or "a jerk of husbands.") The end result is that we've come up with different names for all sorts of groups of creatures. Further confusing the issue is that fact that, in many cases, we have multiple names for the same creatures (e.g., a tribe, trip, drove, herd, or flock of goats; a team, harras, stable, troop, or stud of horses; an exaltation or ascension of larks; and a herd, pod, school, crowd, or shoal of porpoises). A few collective names I particularly like are as follows:

  • A raft of auks
  • A plump of (game) birds
  • A clowder of cats
  • A fling of dunlins
  • A memory of elephants
  • A fesnyng of ferrets
  • An implausibility of gnus
  • A bloat of hippopotamuses
  • A rabble of insects
  • A smack of jellyfish
  • A mob of kangaroos
  • A lounge of lizards
  • A mischief of mice
  • A watch of nightingales
  • A romp of otters
  • A pandemonium of parrots
  • A covey of quail
  • A crash of rhinoceroses
  • A walk of snails
  • A posse of turkeys
  • A kettle of vultures
  • A wisdom of wombats
  • A dazzle of zebras

All of this leads me to pose three questions as follows:

  1. My list above includes a different type of animal for each letter of the alphabet apart from "u," "x," and "y." Do you know any interesting names for groups of animals whose names start with these letters? 
     
  2. The collective names I show about are the ones that "tickle my fancy"; are there any others that you particularly like? 
     
  3. I was wondering about coming up with collective names for different types of silicon chips, such as CPUs, MCUs, DSPs, SRAMs, op-amps, ADCs, DACs, and so forth. Do you have any suggestions?

Why do I spend my time contemplating stuff like this? I have no idea. All I know is that things like this are popping in and out of my head all the time. "Thank goodness for the dried frog pills," is all I can say.

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Max The Magnificent
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Re: My favorite not-made-up-one
Max The Magnificent   1/16/2014 1:01:23 PM
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@fleemer: ...an 'attempted murder' (tip your waitperson, folks, I'm here til Thursday)

LOL I Like it!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: A Group of Programmers ...
Max The Magnificent   1/16/2014 1:00:35 PM
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@Stargzer: A Group of Programmers is obviously a Kludge of Programmers.

Good One!


fleemer
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Re: My favorite not-made-up-one
fleemer   1/16/2014 12:50:42 PM
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Four or fewer crows, a number not large enough to qualify as a 'murder', must therefore be...

an 'attempted murder'

 

(tip your waitperson, folks, I'm here til Thursday)

Stargzer
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A Group of Programmers ...
Stargzer   1/15/2014 6:45:57 PM
A Group of Programmers is obviously a Kludge of Programmers.

"During the office reorganization he was sorted and merged with a kludge of programmers."

It happened to me once, long, long ago!

Stargzer
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Re: An Unkindness of Ravens
Stargzer   1/15/2014 4:25:49 PM
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@betajet: My favorite "official" collective noun is "an unkindness of ravens", though I rarely see more than one raven at a time.  Groak.

I think that is an entirely appropriate collective noun for Ravens.   The cockles of my heart rose in temperature a few degrees when I read that.

I work in the Baltimore, MD area but I'm a native "Warshintonian" from DC, and therefore a fan of the Washington Redskins, no matter how politically incorrect some might think their name is.  As a fan of the 'Skins and the Nats, I have to put up with bird crap 10 to 12 months out of the year from the Ravens and Orioles fans at work.

 

stvw
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The best of all
stvw   1/6/2014 5:28:03 PM
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A "congress" of Baboons.  So now we have a chicken and egg problem. Was it called a Congress before or after the founding of the US?

rick merritt
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Re: A Hackery of Software Developers
rick merritt   10/24/2013 10:19:47 AM
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@zeeglen: Funny!

BillWM
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Re: A Horripilation of Ball Grid Arrays
BillWM   9/26/2013 5:22:45 PM
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Those would require the carrier for the device -- in some applications it is a viable way to go -- in others where there is not room for the device carriers one must go with underfill and corners method, or look at other approaches -- these also have a bit more lead inductance than a solid ball, and thus affect signal and power integrity in some cases.   One may even be left with the choice of mounting bare die on a hybrid package for some appliations (Very high temperature / High vibration - like the engines)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: A Horripilation of Ball Grid Arrays
Max The Magnificent   9/26/2013 5:10:23 PM
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@BillWM: Have you had any experiance with fuzz-button technology (as discussed in my book Bebop to the Boolean Boogie :-)

BillWM
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Re: A Horripilation of Ball Grid Arrays
BillWM   9/26/2013 5:06:50 PM
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Another very real aspect is the reduction in total solder joints to have as potential failure points with modern VLSI and FPGA packages in BGA and other high density devices.   This is partly also addressed via X-ray laminography and conventional X-ray inspection techniques.   Some aspects of an aircraft just do not permit BGA's in those locations however.

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