Collective Nouns for Facts

We all know about collective nouns – those words for groups of things of a single kind. From a pride of lions and a gaggle of geese, to a fixie of hipsters, these terms conjure up wonderful imagery and fill gaps in our lexicon.

So, let’s say you have a bunch of facts; what do you call this? While it’s unclear what to say for a collection of substantive bits of information, for small and relatively unimportant facts, the choice is clear: a pursuit of trivia.

4 Responses to “Collective Nouns for Facts”

  1. Michael Barnett November 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm Permalink

    I came up with one while on a rotation in dermatology: a rash of dermatologists.

  2. Samuel Arbesman November 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm Permalink

    Awesome!

  3. Anthony Adler December 2, 2010 at 9:21 am Permalink

    The difficulty lies in the relation those facts bear to their fellows. A miscellany of facts seems appropriate when we refer to a body of unrelated facts, but it wouldn’t do in cases where our facts interrelate. That’s not necessarily a problem in and of itself – multiple collective nouns with differing conditions aren’t at all taboo, and there’s a certain satisfaction to be had in the transformation of a gaggle of geese into a skein – but there ought to be a limit to the number of collective nouns given to any one word for a kind of thing. “Argument”, “diagram”, “cosmology” and “constellation” could all do, but none of them are especially elegant.

    (On a related note, I’m often rather tickled by the slightly juvenile “wunch of bankers”.)

  4. Samuel Arbesman December 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm Permalink

    Miscellany of facts will certainly do in the interim, while we brainstorm for further terms!