Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pride? Gaggle? Finding a collective noun for UUs

Bananas come in bunches, wolves in packs, locusts in swarms, but what do you call a collection of Unitarian Universalists?

Some obvious collective nouns are too easy and not specific enough: A congregation of UUs fits, but it would also fit just about any other religious group. Also, it's too formal and is so wedded to whole churches that it would be confusing to apply to smaller collections. When you take the youth group out on a hike, congregation doesn't really work.

Christian use that Good Shepherd imagery and so flock works for many of their groupings, but UUs hate to be compared to sheep. If we sang better, a choir of UUs might work, but angels come in choirs, and besides there's the whole reading-ahead-to-see-if-we-agree thing.

A committee of UUs is sadly apt, but I hope we can do better, something more along the lines of an exaltation of larks, a parliament of rooks, a murder of  crows, and so forth.

So what are we? A curiosity of UUs? A cacophony? A cafe?

Disputation? Delegation?

An evolution of UUs? (I kind of like that one.)

Suggestions, anybody?


Joel Monka said...

How about a Babel of UUs?

Charlie Talbert said...

A pride?

Robin Edgar said...


Well said Charlie.

I dare say touché. . .

I might even take it a step further and call it a group of Unitarian*Universalists a "hubris", or "vainglory", or just a bunch of pompous U*Us. nudge nudge ;-) ;-)

In terms of words that actually are synonyms for the word "group", or *slight* variations thereof. . .

How about U*Uociation, U*Uemblage, U*Uembly, bU*Unch, bU*Undle, cliqU*Ue, clU*Ub, clU*Uster, clU*Utch, crU*U, croU*Ud, mess, or even platU*Un?

Then of course there are those quite hilarous terms that U*Us themselves have suggested as names, or descriptions, for the whole mess of U*Us such as "The U*U Movement" and, my personal favorite (as gleaned from Rev. Peter Morales' "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for President of the UUA with minimal modification) -

*The* Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™. :-)

Philocrites said...

I love a cacophony of UUs. Would a diversity of UUs be too unpoetic?

kimc said...

A chaos of UUs?
I'm afraid "committee" is, sadly, most apt.

Robin Edgar said...

Glory be!

Will miracles never cease?!!

UU World editor Christopher L. Walton aka Philocrites has (presumably quite unwittingly) handed The Emerson Avenger a wonderful U*U foil or two to play off. . .

:I love a cacophony of UUs.

As U*U World editor Chris you *must* know that an alternative spelling of "cacophony" is "cacaphony". How about if we reserve the word caca*phony to describe groups of U*Us who are full of caca and otherwise phony? :-)

:Would a diversity of UUs be too unpoetic?

Perhaps but, more importantly it would be too disingenuous Chris. You know as well as anyone that the 97% White U*U World lacks diversity when it comes to cultural and-or racial diversity.

Come to think of it Chris, in light of the numerous tensions and conflicts within the The U*U Movement, perhaps you could more honestly call a group of U*Us an *adversity*. . .

Allah Prochaine,

The Dagger Of Sweet Reason

Naomismom said...

How about a harmony of UUs? At time we are cacophonous but at our best we make beautiful harmony.