Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If you find us together, which we often are...


Here is the final book in our holiday-adjacent giveaway! It's been so fun reading all your comments, and now I hope to get your creative juices flowing once more. This last book is a real beauty: A Zeal of Zebras! It's a wonderfully illustrated, large-format hardcover that is truly great for all ages.

Collective nouns are a linguistic phenomena that you suddenly realize are a thing. For me, this happened somewhat recently. I took for granted such oft-heard phrases as "pride of lions," "murder of crows," and "school of fish," but it came as a shock to open James Lipton's An Exaltation of Larks and see lists and lists of collective nouns! They were overwhelming! They don't really fill a lexical gap; after all, saying "a group of parrots" gets the idea across. But "a pandemonium of parrots?!" It's so... linguistically indulgent! Poetic, even! Anyway, I like the ones that are also insults, such as "an embarrassment of pandas," (see above) because, well, pandas. They're a little embarrassing.

So here's my challenge for you, intelligent readers of this blog. Make up a collective noun for us booksellers. Don't cheat and Google it! I did that and there's no consensus, so there's no right answer. Be a little mean if you must, but mostly, be witty.
And as always: if you want to win the book, include your e-mail address in your comment!
--Seija

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