[Humanist] 25.376 collective noun

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 14 08:41:52 CEST 2011


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 376.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Unsworth, John M" <unsworth at illinois.edu>                (39)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?

  [2]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                        (77)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?

  [3]   From:    "centrostudicomparati at libero.it"                          (62)
                <centrostudicomparati at libero.it>
        Subject: R: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:30:01 +0000
        From: "Unsworth, John M" <unsworth at illinois.edu>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?
        In-Reply-To: <20111013052456.EC9DD1D6F35 at woodward.joyent.us>

As a dean (at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois) I have long felt that the proper collective noun for deans is "a gripe of deans."

John

On Oct 13, 2011, at 1:24 AM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 371.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> 
> 
> 
>        Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:31:35 +1100
>        From: "Ken Friedman" <KenFriedman at groupwise.swin.edu.au>
>        Subject: Advice on collective nouns
> 
> Friends,
> 
> This is a request for help on one of those odd topics where members of the Humanist list so often seem to know a great deal. 
> 
> A recent meeting of deans found us searching for the collective noun for deans. A search for experts on English brought me to you, and I hope that in your work on lexicology and etymology, you might have come across such a word.
> 
> One of the deans present did a Google search to find the words "decanter" and "decorum." This did not seem right to me, so I did some checking. Most of the web sites I find on Google are amateur sites, and the lists of collective nouns I found were filled with errors. If a source has many errors on other collective nouns, I don't see the source as reliable on this word. 
> 
> The logic of labeling a group of deans as a "decanter" or a "decorum" could be a pop etymology follow-on from the Latin term for dean, decanus. That doesn't mean that these words are not used as collective nouns for dean, but it could be the case that someone invented words that have spread from list to list in the same way that false Wikipedia facts take on life when Wikipedia cites poor sources and other sources cite Wikipedia. Neither the Oxford English Dictionary nor Webster's gives the terms decanter or decorum such usage. 
> 
> If anyone on The Humanist could shed light on this topic or direct me to a reliable reference work on collective nouns, I'd be most grateful.
> 
> Thank you.
> 
> Ken Friedman
> 
> Professor Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | University Distinguished Professor | Dean, Faculty of Design | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia | kenfriedman at groupwise.swin.edu.au | Ph: +61 3 9214 6078 | Faculty www.swinburne.edu.au/design


--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:35:15 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?
        In-Reply-To: <20111013052456.EC9DD1D6F35 at woodward.joyent.us>


Collectivist confab: Whereas family or committee can be used and thought of
as a collection of individuals, or those individuals as such [viz., "the
family sit down to dinner; the family sits down to dinner"], there is no
need to collect a dunciad of deans, who  will prefer to browse separate and
solitary on the green grass of our mere professors, the intellectual
proletariat ruled from above, or should one say, from "overhead," which
rules in the financial office...? We might say the Deanery, like rookery,
which can be collective, or Their Deanship is or are in [secretive]
conference...?
Jascha Kessler


-- 
Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648
www.jfkessler.com
www.xlibris.com



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 21:37:47 +0200 (CEST)
        From: "centrostudicomparati at libero.it" <centrostudicomparati at libero.it>
        Subject: R: [Humanist] 25.371 collective noun?
        In-Reply-To: <20111013052456.EC9DD1D6F35 at woodward.joyent.us>

deanery?



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