December 23, 2006

Groups group, crowds crowd, throngs throng, but...

Hordes do not... horde. They might hoard, but it's not the same thing. And it's possible to say that they whored, but it's really not the same thing.

Just some linguistic observations about the mysteries of nouns and verbs -- some thoughts thought today... while swirling around in the crowds/throngs/groups at the stores.

15 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

"My fathers' house shall never be a cave For wolves to horde and howl in." (Byron, _Sardan_, V.i.209).

"Hence," as the Oxford English Dictionary states, "horde v. intr., to form a horde; to congregate or live as in a horde."

It still sounds nice to say, though.

Donald Douglas said...

Holiday "hordes" were not too bad today at Orange County's ritzy South Coast Plaza. I'm almost all done!

Burkean Reflections

Anonymous said...

Speaking of crowds, I noticed Brazil is flying people in air force jets to ease holiday traffic. Extreme measures, I guess. Awesome! [subscription wsj]

Ron said...

whored...throng...thong...we got get a dirty limerick outta this, along with Donner and Blitzen!

Don't you just want to make a YouTube video of giant packs of Visigoths storming a BestBuy in search of Playstation 3?

Anonymous said...

Groups gulped grouper, then grouped and gaped and groped the throngs's thongs, while the crowd crowed but were cowed into callow cowering by the regrouped group of gropers.

Ron said...

Sippican, you are The Batman of Althouse commenters; swoop in, kick ass, and leave the crooks all tied up for Gordon to haul off in the paddy wagon!

Mouth agape at the groups of groping groupers!

Bleepless said...

Flocks flock, too. So does one of my nephews, but that is another story.

Tim said...

Well, herds don't herd, but a swarm swarms; schools don't school, but a brood broods; a pack doesn't pack, but a flight takes flight.

Odd, that.

Anonymous said...

The legal term "sanction" has two (nearly) opposite meanings, both as a noun and a verb. So the phrase "sanctions sanction" has four possible meanings!

As Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." This is why lawyers are smarter than everyone else and why I decided many years ago that I didn't have what it took to be one.

Ron said...

What, no one has commented on the propensity of Weebles Wobbling and their ability to remain up right?

Anonymous said...

I myself have always been fascinated by the close association between Martial and Marital.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes, Ruth Ann; I think that paiar also fits to a "t".

Ron said...

and if you just add a "con", you get both congenial and congenital which spins the words in the z axis...