Monday, September 26, 2016

Plural of Profs

Yesterday, someone asked what a group of academics would be.  As in a murder of crows or a school of fish or whatever.  I came up with a few and ran a survey:

The survey results: 30% for Plethora, 20% for Profligacy, 23% A Den, 27% for A Plenitude

People suggested alternatives:
  • A Bore
  • A Committee
  • A Minyan
  • A Chatter
  • A Conference or Meeting
  • An Elmer of Phds (the problem with this is we spell it out rather than say phd or fudd).
  • A Squad
  • A Pain
  • A Shrewdness
  • A Tedium
  • A Cacophony
  • A Review
  • A Parliament
  • A Pontification
What to choose?  With the voting result so narrow and with so many alternatives, no result stands out.  If you think of the nouns for other collectives, none seem too negative.  As much as I like a Committee of Profs, that seems too generic.  Plus my basic preference would be for alliteration and something that is not unduly harsh.  Given that Parliaments can vary in terms of how much they do, how they operate, but have some of the qualities of the other suggested names, I think I will have to go with it: a Parliament of Professors!

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