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A Parliament of Murders

by David Downing |  Published: Oct 01, 2009


There’s nothing I like better than a good stereotype, especially when it lives up to expectation, like a clueless Brit in an online cash game or a skilled Scandinavian suddenly exploding into a torrent of pointless abuse in chat. Collective nouns are what the grammarians used to encapsulate these wisdoms and make them official. Our great friends, the Victorian, gentlemen scientists, were the masters of this kind of thing, and most of our collective nouns, certainly the most entertaining of them, come from these times. In that proud tradition, I’ve tried to create my own contribution to collective nounery, which hopefully will have wider adoption than my damned if you do, damned if you don’t (DIYDDIYD). One of which I am especially proud is unfortunately not repeatable in polite company — it is a c-word for traffic wardens. I think the beauty of this is it is evocative and descriptive. In ...

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