Word alterations

Posted by David FG on October 11, 2004

In Reply to: Word alterations posted by Brian from Shawnee on October 11, 2004

: : : Is it common to say-
: : : a *giggle* of girls meaning a group of girls giggling?

: : :

: : : and

: : : He is a workaholic:he *averages* twelve hours working in the office?

: : :
: : : Is *average* commonly used that way

: : : thanks

: : I've not heard that collective noun used for girls. There's no issuing authority for such though; if they get into common use they get accepted. I'd have thought that one stood a chance of a long and healthy life. Roald Dahl used a gigglehouse of girls in one of his children's stories.

: : Averages is commonly used that way in the UK.

: A *giggle* of girls seems to be a play on the word *gaggle* which refers to a group of geese on the ground. Gaggle itself isn't a very common word, as it usually applies only to geese, and I've never seen it used in the many newspaper articles about nuisance geese around here.

I think that collective nouns only exist to provide lists in guides to English usage. I have heard anyone refer to an 'exaltation of larks' or the like in the real world.