Saturday, December 20, 2008

How is a flamingo like a matchbook?

The other night at our meeting we did more celebrating than critiquing. On the subject of holiday travel with kids, we started talking about DVD’s in the car. Not surprisingly, even those of us who are parents cringed at the idea. Whatever happened to old fashioned word games?

A few of us shared our favorite family word games. In my family we had one called “irrelevancies.” One person named an object. Another person then named something completely irrelevant to that object. The third person had to figure out some way they were related. Like one time when my sister said “flamingo,” and my dad said, “matchbook.” (Flamingoes were a favorite obscure item.) I thought about it and decided that they both have something you can pluck off of them: feathers and matches.

That got us thinking about animals. Why do different kinds of animals have different names for a group of them? For example, why is a group of sheep called a herd, while wolves are a pack? And why do some animals get a cool group name, like a pride of lions? So we started inventing names for groups of animals. One person got to choose the animal, and whoever picked the best name for a group of them got to choose the next animal. So the next time you come upon a family of porcupines, according to us, that would be a prickle. Naturally.

Anyone else want to post your favorite word games?


Lisa said...

How about a coalition of cheetahs
a murder of crows
a crash of rhinos
a business of ferrets
a parliment of owls
and an ostentation of peacocks?
Those are all real ones I learned at some point. They seem particularly appropriate.

Sarah said...

I like the ostentation of peacocks! Could it be anything else?

Alison said...

Uh... wouldn't it be a FLOCK of sheep? Although we do call the people shepherds....hmmmmm.....