Earth Magazine asked its followers on Twitter yesterday, "what is the collective noun for a group of geologists?" You know, a flock of birds, a pack of dogs, a of geologists. That led to a fun morning. My first candidate is a formation of geologists, but Tony Martin (@Ichnologist) suggested a mélange. That word, which means a jumble of mixed sedimentary rocks, is an apt reference to the variety of opinions you'll get in front of any outcrop. Along the same lines, the geologist known as @reticulite proposed an argument. That seems a little confrontatory; I think that geologists generally have passionate discussionswhich is the intended meaning of "argument," I'm sure, but "argument" has other connotations I'd rather avoid. James Burnes (@LifeThruTime) added, "From my experiences, an 'intoxication' of geologists sounds about right." To which I responded by proposing a crawl of geologists, which also suggests our nose-to-the-ground attitude.
What about some of geology's many specialties? Here's what I came up with yesterday:
- A clade or assemblage of paleontologists
- A pod or shoal of oceanographers
- A scattergram or facies of geochemists
- A plume of volcanologists
- A flurry of glaciologists
- A scatter of explorationists
- A suite of modelers
- A belt of planetologists (after the asteroid belt, but @cirquelar, a planetologist himself, cleverly suggested "belt" for explorationists)
- A cloud of aeronomists (those are the folks who study near-outer space)
- A flood of hydrologists
- A swarm of seismologists
- A sequence of stratigraphers
- A shower of meteoriticists
I'll bet you have some good ones too.