From group to troupe


Doug Pinch, newsman for Nimbin FM102.3, has been searching for a collective noun for roosters: “Like a murder of crows, a parliament of owls and my favourite, an ostentation of peacocks. Google’s first entry reads: ‘Unfortunately, there is no special name for a collective of roosters’. I have asked for help from the local Nimbin Bush Theatre, which has been overrun with roosters and their cacophony. The street talk is that kind-hearted locals can’t possibly dispatch the male chooks that their hens hatch, so they drop them off in the theatre’s grounds. One suggestion why there is no collective noun for roosters is that they generally don’t live long enough to form a group. Except at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre.”

“Give Graham Harris a break about his brawn recipe (C8),” says Seppo Ranki of Glenhaven. “Nose-to-tail cooking is where we all need to go. Many years ago, my late wife Jan had an attack of the vapours when she lifted the lid on a batch of brawn I was cooking and spied the grinning teeth of the pig’s head. I went on to make many batches of delicious brawn in subsequent years based on veal shanks, pig’s hocks and trotters, but no more teeth.”

Jane Craig of Holt (ACT) says that “Joy Cooksey (C8) was almost right about the first person to be thrown under a bus, but it was actually Eve. Adam threw her under.”

Speaking of Harrington’s finest, Joy writes that, “As a nine-year-old, I didn’t need to sell chokos (C8) or mow lawns. Like many children, I became financially independent thanks to my weekly earnings from the Herald puzzle page, and its exchange of money for merit certificates.”

Cath Bright of West Ryde recalls: “As a child growing up in Gordon, my brothers and I used to sell chokos to neighbours in our street and we kept the money in a cream jar on top of the fridge. Our house was robbed, and as kids, we exclaimed ‘They even took the choko money!’.”

“I’ve just received an email from an appliance company advising me that my appointment with the technician, scheduled for today, has been ‘unscheduled’,” says Carole Dawes of Randwick. “Where is this appalling grammar being taught? We should rise as one in protest of this frightful use of language. I suggest protesting outside your local school with placards reading WE WILL NOT HAVE OUR LANGUAGE UNSCHEDULED!”

Column8@smh.com.au

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