What do you call a group of lemurs?

By Michael Kofi Ngongi

If you’re like me, the holiday season provided ample opportunity to lie on your couch and suspend reality for a time while you watched your favourite superheroes save humanity again…and again…and again. I confess I’m quite partial to the Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes. I used to read the comic books and I think Marvel Studios did an outstanding job bringing Iron Man and Co. to the big screen.

So, there I was one afternoon, blissfully ensconced in my basement, oblivious to the shenanigans of the outside world, immersed in the action of Avengers: Endgame. Near the beginning of the movie, Captain America mentions he saw a pod of whales swimming in the Hudson River. I know a group of whales is called a pod, but I began wondering: what if he’d seen a group of stingrays or a group of sharks swimming in the river? What if he’d seen a group of eagles or owls flying overhead? Or what if he’d seen a group of cheetahs sprinting alongside his car? Or a group of lemurs dangling from some trees nearby? As these thoughts drove me to near distraction, I decided I needed answers, but only after the movie!

I found out that a group of stingrays is called a fever while a group of sharks is a shiver. A group of eagles is a convocation and a group of owls is a parliament. Finally, a group of cheetahs is a coalition, whereas a group of lemurs is a conspiracy. Perhaps you already knew all this; I admit I was baffled. But on the plus side, I’ve gained a new perspective on the use of these once familiar words. For instance, what if we’re told the next James Bond movie will see our favourite secret agent take on a mysterious coalition to thwart a dangerous conspiracy that could bring down a parliament? I don’t know about you, but I will now be expecting to see cheetahs, lemurs and owls appear in some fashion. That would make for a great movie, don’t you think?

Michael Kofi Ngongi is a new Canadian originally from Cameroon. He has experience in international development and is a freelance writer interested in language and its usage.

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