The Gentle persons guide to the age:
Terms of Venery and Collective nouns.
Terms of Venery are, of course, the terms a gentlemen or lady would use to refer to a group of animals in their environment and in a multinaity of more than 2 or 3 specimens. Terms for other groups of objects or such fall within the greater group of Collective Nouns. As many of our group are new to the sporting and other events of the Victorian age, I have endeavored , with the kind assistance and indulgence of Auntie Social, to present a primer on the terms and examples of a few that may be of use to the populace of our fine city of Cowford.
It is of course know from the youngest age of reasoned thought in the language that antelopes come in a herd, and a colony of ants is most common. A lodge of beavers or a hive of bees seem most logical. But save for the hardiest adventurer back from the dark continent, whom would realize that camels come in flocks, or has seen a shrewdness of apes, a float of crocodiles upon a river or a tower of giraffes grazing upon the treetops. Crossing the great savannas one might as easily happen upon a quiver of cobras as a zeal of zebras.
The age and current disposition of the groups may also affect the terms that should be applied. A Kindle of Kittens may be unbearably cute, but one day they shall be adults and then you will have a nuisance of cats about your house. Though their wild brethren form a pounce.
Across the western extremes of our country one may run upon a rhumba of rattlesnakes or a lounge of lizards. Though more locally you would as likely find a murder of crows or prickle of hedgehogs as an exaltation of larks or ostentation of peacocks. And our coastal waters may harbor a pod of dolphins or shiver of shark.
And some of the terms show a certain bias toward the British origins of the terms, such as a parliament of owls over a congress of baboons. Although having once been to see congress, I must say the baboons got the short end on that one.
While further inscriptions upon the list may be garnered from this site; http://www.rinkworks.com/words/collective.shtml I must admit that they in some way failed to address some of the groups that we have reason to deal with locally. As such I, and Auntie, would like to propose the following additions to the concept to deal with situation more unique to our situation.
Such as, while a flight of dragons may be uncommon, Pterodactyls are more common, and so perhaps a swoop of them might be observed. While navigating the back alleys and lost blocks of our city, encountering a shuffle of zombies can be quite unfortunate. Though much preferable to a rant of villains or a byte of vampires. (8 perhaps?). And of course while exploring the forests and fields of our dear state, running upon a crush of woolless mammoths can provide a most spectacular sight!
I will let other propose further terms for further critters (What was that group of Mad Scientist called again, Auntie?), as someone just delivered an implausibility of gnus, and I must deal with them. Now where did I leave the rubber hoses and sour cream?