Thursday, November 14, 2013

A codex of book designers?

Collective nouns have been part of the English language since The Book of Saint Albans included 165 of them in 1486, 32 years after Gutenberg changed the world forever with his ’31-line indulgence’.  The former volume included the beautifully poetic ‘melody of harpers’ and a ‘sentence of judges’. More recent and local collective nouns include ‘a chatroom of gallahs’ and ‘a carolling of currawongs’.

What I’m after is a collective noun for book designers. There may be a few different ones that each suggest the specific activity of the book designers at a particular time. For example, geese on land are a ‘gaggle’ and then a ‘skein’ when flying and then they become a ‘plump’ when flying closely together.

But what could we call a group of book designers having a long, overdue drink in a bar somewhere in Melbourne if not before Christmas, then sometime early in 2014?

See the handsome list below for inspiration and then forward you suggestions . . . and then we can get this Inaugural Melbourne gathering happening.

An erudition of editors
An absence of waiters
A cackle of hyenas
A fidget of altar boys
A hand of bananas
A murder of crows
A sleuth of bears
An ostentation of peacocks
A sounder of swine
An unkindness of ravens
A huddle of lawyers
A mess of officers
A mixture of pharmacists
A murmer of nuns
A parliament of rooks
A rhyme of poets


  1. A library of

    A title of

    An imprint of

    A blurb of

    A setting of

    A perfect bind of

    An emboss of

    A shelf of

    A folio of

    A boxset of

    A spine of

    A series of

    A stack of

    A trolley of

    An ex libris of

    A sheaf of

    A section of

    A stitching of

    An extent of

    A palimpsest

  2. Thank you chongmeister. How to choose? Can I add, a binding of . . . a press of . . . a justification of . . .a feathering of . . . I guess we'll meet somewhere in the gutter. bom bom! I like 'palimpsest' but it's hard to say and will be more so after a beer or 2, but that might be fun. It also literally means, 'scraped clean and used again', which can be how one feels at the end of hard days grind.

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