When a lioness approaches a herd of zebras, she searches for the stragglers, the loners, the ones who have strayed too far away. She isn’t attacking the whole herd. There is safety in numbers and the zebras know it.
When a flock of birds flies in formation, they can fly farther than a solitary bird alone. There is strength in numbers. Predators do not disrupt their formation.
When a gaggle of geese starts honking, the message is clear. Stay away. Stay far away. Maybe they are protecting some goslings. Maybe they are just protecting themselves. There is strength in numbers. The predators would much rather go after a solitary goose than attack the gaggle.
Herd of zebras, flock of birds, gaggle of geese, crash of rhinoceros (one of my favorite group names), obstinacy of buffalo (my new favorite). All animals know there is safety in numbers. Stay in the group and you’re safe. Stray from the group and you may be attacked.
What do you call a group of sales clerks?
A clucker of clerks? A chattering of clerks? A confusion of clerks? Or my other favorite group term (works with every type of animal), a “whole mess of” clerks?
By any name, the rules still apply. There is safety in numbers.
Stay close to the group and you won’t have any customers attacking you looking for help. You won’t have the boss singling you out for a project. You won’t be under the glare and spotlight.
You’ll be safe in the group.
Or will you?
We aren’t talking about a lioness hiding in the tall grass looking for the weakest member. We’re talking about a customer needing assistance. We’re talking about projects needing to be done. We’re talking about the work your clucker is supposed to be doing.
The point is that you aren’t the prey. You are the pride of lions, who only rest and play after the kill. You hunt alone. You are not the Leap of Leopards, just the lone Jaguar ready to pounce at the chance to accomplish and do more than expected. You are not the convocation of eagles, just the single eagle ready to take flight and soar.
In other words, watch how you congregate. That chattering could be costly.
PS Here are some of my other favorite Animal Group Names…
Congregation of Alligators
Shrewdness of Apes
Quiver of Cobras
Cast of Falcons
Implausibility of Gnus
Scourge of Mosquitoes
Gaze of Raccoons
Rhumba of Rattlesnakes
Congress of Salamanders
Ambush of Tigers
Wisdom of Wombats