A senior employee at my first retail job was scolding me for not talking to the customers. I had my head down stocking shelves when a customer walked right past me.
His lecture was more of an education lesson and to be fair, my fifteen-year-old self probably needed it. I was informed that it’s not my boss, but actually the customers who pay my salary. Why wouldn’t I want to talk to them as they came into the store?
“The English language is such a beautiful thing. There are so many different ways to start a conversation with the customer.”
He was right. The English language is a beauty. It has more words than we need, and we add new ones every year.
Sometimes we just alter the meaning, like in the case of the word, “woke“. It was already in the dictionary, but not as an adjective. Now it can be used to convey a meaning that could already be imparted with other words.
Beautiful, just like my mentor told me one score and four years ago.
Do you know what’s not beautiful, at least not to my ears? When I tell someone I saw a flock of crows, and they say, “Don’t you mean a murder of crows?”
Really? Did the person not understand what I was trying to say? Do they think they sound cool using a word that means the unlawful killing of another human, to describe a group of birds?
These extra words for flocks of birds can go extinct as far as I’m concerned. The only time they’re used is when someone wants to interrupt your story in the most pretentious way possible.
Using these words is akin to asking for HP Sauce at breakfast when there is already ketchup on the table.
So there, The Prime Dictator’s first order of business is to ban all words other than “flock” to describe groups of birds.
We’ve been having fun adding new words to the dictionary. Let’s clean up a few:
Convocation of Eagles
Chattering of Starlings
Unkindness of Ravens
Mustering of Storks
Gaggle of Geese…oh, wait, the geese are in flight? Now they’re called a skein? Seriously? Flock off.