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A photo depicting a highness of royal terns, mixing with a conspiracy of black skimmers, and a tiny screech of gulls. Keith Corliss

Flight Lines: Funny and unused, archaic collective nouns

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A collective noun, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is a word that "denotes a collection of persons or things regarded as a unit." Whether we are aware or not, the words are quite common and we tend to use them daily. Give it a little thought and the list of words describing groups of persons is amazingly long. Here's a short, off-the-cuff stab at examples: Army, band, congregation, constituency, audience, committee, class, kin, company, platoon, staff, gang, and team.

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