Hot for Collective Nouns | by, Carmen Brock

Editor’s note: Carmen’s beautifully crafted {as always!} musings on the month of love. Enjoy

Hot for collective nouns

I am hot for collective nouns.

That’s right, there’s nothing quite like a word referring to some sort of group or collective—generally people, animals, things—that lights me up. Collective nouns are witty, eloquent, often elegant and surprising, and a bit nerdy (I am a hopeless sapiosexual, so this fits). The collective noun for flamingos? A flamboyance! For owls? A parliament! And my absolute favorite of all time….the collective noun for ladybugs? A loveliness!

It’s a matter of loveliness that brings me to this newsletter. February is (too often, in my opinion) saturated with romantic and conventional ideas about love. I am going to leave that subject to the experts. I want to explore loveliness….in particular, the loveliness of music, paper, collaboration, nutrition, and memory.

Snail Mail

Ellicott City native Lindsey Jordan of the indie rock project Snail Mail headlined a five-night sold out Valentine Fest at Remington’s Ottobar . This was a homecoming show of sorts for Jordan, who played her first show at Ottobar in 2015 at the age of 15.

(The collective noun for snails? Escargatoire.)

Love Notes

This gold-hearted blossom pink notebook by Appointed in DC comes with a choice of interiors: lined, grid, or blank. The sweetest part: It can also be monogrammed in a Serif or Sans-Serif font with a turnaround time of just 3-4 days. The lovely Suann Song, founder and CEO of Appointed, is a longtime lover of thoughtful design, beautiful paper, and sustainable business practices. Appointed’s paper is acid-free, chlorine-free, and made with 2/3 renewable energy, more than half of which is made on-site with renewable biomass and zero-emission hydroelectric.

(Collective noun for paper: ream, pad, or budget).

Bon Bon

Local plant shop B.Willow boasted a very sweet Valentine’s Day collaboration: a locally grown bouquet (hello you beautiful collective noun you) of tulips, dark chocolate raspberry bonbons by local Lindersweets+Sweetri, and a handmade canvas tote bag. This bae bundle was $65 with portions of proceeds going to the House of Ruth.

photograph of Wanda Moore by J.M. Giordano

Food for Thought

This exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Industry highlights the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic: Food and Nutrition Service workers at Baltimore City Public Schools. When schools closed during the pandemic, these essential workers continued to feed Baltimore City youth and their families. Wanda Moore, who has worked in food and nutrition for 24 years, said, “…we love what we do. Feeding the kids is everything to us.” Opening on February 10, this exhibition honors their work and the love they have for the youth in our city.


This heart-shaped meadow was created by farmer Winston Howes of South Gloucestershire, UK as a tribute to his late wife of 33 years, Janet. Howes planted 6,000 oak saplings in a six-acre field on his farm, leaving the heart-shaped clearing in the middle. The heart points towards Janet’s childhood home in nearby Wotton Hill, and daffodils bloom in the middle of the heart in the springtime. I love the everlasting nature of this tribute, and the tenderness of memory.

A few more fun collective nouns, if you please:

❤️ a flood of plumbers ❤️

❤️ a dazzle of zebras ❤️

❤️ a rash of dermatologists ❤️

❤️ a shiver of sharks ❤️

❤️ a mischief of rats ❤️

❤️ a bloat of hippopotamuses❤️

Carmen Brock

Carmen Brock grew up on a cattle and tobacco farm in Kentucky. She now calls Baltimore her home. She owned a home goods and vintage shop in Hampden called Trohv for 14 years. She is currently a home design consultant. You can often find her at the Waverly Farmer’s Market, Church Bar, or with her nose buried in a book. She loves collective nouns, a dirty martini, and porch-sittin’. For inquiries:


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