Collective Nouns for Geographers


A collective noun is a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things, like “a school of fish” or “a class of students.” While playing around with them for a previous article titled “A Plethora of PhDs,” I tried to find a collective noun for geographers. Some serious googling came up with “a conglomerate of geologists,” a nucleus of physicists,” and “a multiplicity of mathematicians,” but nada for geographers. So, partly out of curiosity, and partly to generate material for the “humor spot” in our next Newsletter, I ran a departmental contest to see who could come up with the best collective noun for geographers. There wasn’t exactly “a surfeit of suggestions,” but here are the entries to date: An orientation of geographers (Julie Dillemuth), a world of geographers (Jim Marston), a continent of geographers (Jim Marston), a mass of geographers (Jim Marston), a globe of geographers (Helen Couclelis), an agglomeration of geographers (Dan Montello), an aggregation of geographers (Dan Montello), an autocorrelation of geographers (Dan Montello), a cluster of geographers (Dan Montello), a world of geographers (Dan Montello), a global warm-ongering of geographers (attributed to Hugo Loaiciga), a meridian of geographers (David Carr), a ubiquity of geographers (David Carr), a milieux of geographers (David Carr), a glôb of geographers (Bill Norrington), a “l’attitude” of geographers (Val Norrington), an intersection of geographers (Andy Krone), a collocation of geographers (Stacy Rebich), and a coordinate of geographers (Stacy Rebich).

Please send comments, contributions, and collective criticism to your editor, Bill Norrington, at billn@geog.ucsb.edu.