collective nouns

Subject: collective nouns
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 21:06:50 EST
That is not quite true.
Though most of the collective nouns are, as you say, not words that are, or were, in actual use, but rather words that appeared in some literary work or were invented for the purpose, there are more than the two words you ascribe.  For example, it is certainly not unheard of to talk about a covey of quail or a raft of ducks, at least here in the States.  I am sure there are a few others.
Eric Jeffrey
Falls Church, VA
In a message dated 2/19/2006 9:00:40 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:
There have been various threads on Birding-aus over the years about collective nouns for groups of different types of birds, eg a 'murder' of crows.

Birding-aus subscribers should realise that the invention of collective nouns appropriate to different kinds of birds is simply a literary parlour game of Victorian vintage, and does not reflect actual usage either now, or at some time in the past.

The only collective nouns to use for groups of birds are:

English: a flock of X
American English: a bunch of X (or in the case of a large flock 'a whole bunch of X')
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