The ‘only known joke about collective nouns’
I was listening to radio last night, and laughed my head clean off when I heard this joke – billed as ‘the only known joke about collective nouns’.
I hunted it down and pinched it off the Time website for your pleasure:
Four dons were walking down an Oxford street one evening. All were philologists and members of the English department. They were discussing group nouns: a covey of quail, a pride of lions, an exaltation of larks.
As they talked, they passed four ladies of the evening. The dons did not exactly ignore the hussies—in a literary way, that is. One of them asked: “How would you describe a group like that?”
Suggested the first: “A jam of tarts?” The second: “A flourish of strumpets?” The third: “An essay of Trollope’s?” Then the dean of the dons, the eldest and most scholarly of them all, closed the discussion: “I wish that you gentlemen would consider ‘An anthology of pros.’ “