A Pride of Obliviots

MSgt USAF (retired) Joe Ohio inquires, “As a multi-decade reader I find readers’ comments almost as entertaining as the stories. This brings me to my question. Being an English major I would like to know what the collective is for ‘obliviot’?”

For those not in the know, obliviot is the “official” True word for the people I’ve been writing about for over 20 years now, and was enshrined in the This is True canon in March 2009. A collective noun, of course, is the name of a group, like a panel of experts, a pack of dogs, or a murder of crows.

Two crows: attempted murder?

So what would a group of obliviots be called? Well, what came immediately to my mind in response to Joe was, a pride of obliviots. Not because they’re proud like majestic lions, but rather because obliviots are so sure of themselves, that they’re so right, so intelligent, that their pride blinds them to the truth of their …well… obliviotic actions. (That, of course, is a corollary of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which you may have read about in True way back in early 2000.)

But maybe you have a better suggestion than pride. If so, comments are open below.

June 8 Update

Premium subscribers voted on the 21 finalists, and just short of a thousand of them weighed in. The winner by far was…

A Congress of Obliviots

Some commenters thought that was too U.S.-centric, while obliviots are represented in every corner of the Earth. Indeed they are well spread out, but think about it: what body has been more consistent in its obliviocy, standing up proudly for all to see all over the world? Works for me.

Besides: congress is a generic term that applies anywhere.

For the voting, Premium subscribers were able to choose their Top 3 favorites. I used a point system to find the winner. “Congress” ended up with 417 points. In descending order, here are the other point totals:

  • A Pride of Obliviots: 331 points
  • A Blithering of Obliviots: 309
  • A Babble of Obliviots: 249
  • A Confusion of Obliviots 214
  • A Blather of Obliviots 168
  • A Redundancy of Obliviots: 125
  • A Clot of Obliviots: 115
  • An Obstruction of Obliviots: 113
  • A Boggle of Obliviots: 112
  • A Fubar of Obliviots: 97
  • A Drool of Obliviots: 93
  • A Facepalm of Obliviots: 92
  • A Confoundment of Obliviots: 91
  • A Darwin of Obliviots: 78
  • A Stampede of Obliviots: 76
  • A Hubris of Obliviots: 69
  • A Bloviation of Obliviots: 58
  • A Blank of Obliviots: 50
  • An Indignation of Obliviots: 47
  • An Obscuration of Obliviots: 26

Every choice got more than one first-, second-, and third-place vote.

Congress got more than double the first-place votes than the second choice.

Let’s Talk About the U.S. Congress

The public should generally have a pretty low “approval rating” of obliviots, right? Well, take a look at the American public’s approval of the U.S. Congress over the past 40 years:

Gallup poll of Congressional approval over time
(Click to see details at Gallup.com)

Right after the 9/11 attacks, the public lined up behind the pols, resulting in an all-time-high rating of 84 percent, but that was an anomaly, and their rating kept falling as they kept doing more dumb things, like trading freedom for a vague sense of security. As you can see they’ve been skirting single digits for several years lately.

Pretty good condemnation of their thinking, if you ask me. It’s part the idea behind the new “VOID” Get Out of Hell Free card: getting politicians to work for the country again, rather than for themselves or their moneyed masters. To do that, the voters need to wake up, because we “get the politicians we deserve” — the ones we vote for.

In other words, you should take away the message that it’s good not to be too smug about any of this, because remember: we are all obliviots sometimes. We all do stupid things, and often don’t recognize it right away, even when someone points it out to us. But if you can change your mind when presented with facts, and learn from your mistakes, then you can be confident you’re not an obliviot all the time!

– – –

Bad link? Broken image? Other problem on this page? Use the Help button lower right, and thanks.

This page is an example of my style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the minimum rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.


169 Comments on “A Pride of Obliviots

  1. Pride definitely works. My first thought was “party,” for no particular reason. “Knot” might work, since their thinking is somewhat tangled.

    The more I think about it though, the more I like “pride.” I did find some amusing possibilities here.

  2. Last year we got some Guinea fowl to keep the grasshoppers down in the pastures.

    They’re very noisy (heard up to a mile away) and at any given time at least one is doing a LOUD non-stop squawk that makes me think they’ve got OCD. It sounds like “perplexed, perplexed, perplexed …” (Repeat for another half hour or so.)

    They also raise a ruckus about whatever upsets them:
    they can’t figure how to get up in a tree;
    they can’t figure how to get down from a tree;
    half the flock is on the “wrong” side of the hay bale;
    there’s a cow in the pasture;
    there’s rabbit in the pasture;
    the wind is blowing;
    something’s happening;
    nothing’s happening.

    Feathered obliviots. So I looked up the collective noun for them. It’s “A CONFUSION of Guineas.”

  3. Many years ago, I inadvertently came up with the word “flabbergastation” for, well, the state of being flabbergasted. (Either that, or it’s a filling station that sells Flabber gas.) I think it’s time to drag it out of the woodwork. “A flabbergastation of obliviots.” Has a nice ring to it, I’d say.

    Seems to me that flabbergas must make for really loud farts. -rc

  4. In an attempt to use a word that maybe hasn’t previously been used as a collective: An assurance of obliviots.

  5. Could also give it a political spin and have them be called an obama of obliviots or a bush of obliviots. Either way, I’m sure you would get several unsubscribe messages. 😉

    Yeah, well, there are plenty on both sides: I wouldn’t want to discriminate against anyone. -rc

  6. My husband suggested a “Floridian” of obliviots.

    The first thing that came to mind for me was a “redundancy” of obliviots.

  7. I agree, “Pride” does have a nice ring to it.

    Some suggestions I came up with:

    Congress (already mentioned)
    Confusion (taken already, heh)

    I’ll quit now. 😉

  8. Though I very much like some of the inspired submissions above (esp. CONGRESS — HA!), I just couldn’t resist adding my two cents’ worth: A Fall of Obliviots (as in “pride goeth before a …”).

  9. I have to agree with “a redundancy of obliviots” — one of them is enough for anybody, so more than one is a redundancy!

  10. My first thought… An Oblivion of Obliviots. Kinda surprised I seem the first to mention it. Then again, maybe it’s redundant. But so is “a congress of Obliviots”! (With apologies to Ron in Israel.) 🙂

  11. “Congress” is what leapt to mind. And I’m a couple of french fries short of a happy meal in timing! Oh, well. Mebbe “crowd”?

    My rationale … “Great minds think alike.” Now THAT quote should qualify me for the crowd.

  12. How about a Yelp of Obliviots. Don’t know of any other group by that term and it ties in with them spouting off their ignorance.

  13. I think “Gaggle” would work, so long as we give a better collective to the geese so as to avoid insulting them unnecessarily. Or maybe just “Gag”. Or some choice multi-word descriptions that come to mind but are not acceptable to polite company.

  14. ‘Thus the incompetent often end up “grossly overestimating” their own competency, even when they’re making a mess of things.’ (Dunning-Kruger effect)

    Possibly a “gross of obliviots”?

  15. How about a dorde? It’s a cross between “horde” and “dord”, the non-existent word included in the dictionary for at least five years thanks to obliviots.

    “Dord is a notable error in lexicography, an accidental creation, or ghost word, of the G. and C. Merriam Company’s staff included in the second (1934) edition of its New International Dictionary, in which the term is defined as ‘density’.” Continues on Wikipedia. -rc

  16. How about using the term that describes the outcome if a bunch of obliviots got together? A FUBAR of obliviots.

  17. There are a bunch of great suggestions, but I think Ron from Israel nailed it. Yep, a congress of obliviots.

  18. I thought about simplifying, and doing a plural sort of like in Latin.

    Obliviot, oblivioti.

    One obliviot, two or more oblivioti. Or should it have two t’s? Oblviotti.

    Not sure about Latin rules, but oblivioti looks more correct than with two Ts. -rc

  19. I like the collective “pride.” Alternatively, I also like “cyclone.” A cyclone of obliviots would have similar (in)consistencies as the weather phenomenon of similar name. Even more appropriate is a group of scorpions is known as a cyclone and scorpions, like obliviots, often don’t realize the pain they cause each other when they sting, even inadvertently.

  20. Congress of Obliviots is truly, apropos, but redundant. 😉

    I’m leaning in favor of their effect rather than their unity.


  21. “Pride goeth before a fall” says the verse, so I’m all for Pride — the obliviots usually fall flat on their face, or the other side….

    This …is True! -rc

  22. An oblivion of obliviots? I like that one.

    But there are so many obliviots now-a-days. They are almost innumerable!

    And in an era where we have the attitude that “Who needs to know anything, when there’s Google?” (And this was said by a noted educator! Albeit, in sarcasm. I hope.)

    And where people’s smart phones are often smarter than they are….

    May I suggest: A GOOGLE of Obliviots.

    Gads, I WISH there were fewer of them. I know, Randy is doing his best to keep the population down.

    At any rate, thank you for the word! I use it often. It is spreading in Northern Ontario. And when people give me a chance, I give a full Biography on it.

  23. I thought of “kluge,” a collection of ill-suited parts that have been thrown together, especially for a dubious purpose.

  24. Two more suggestions:

    shrewdness (of apes) — I like it because it’s an actual collective noun (term of venery) for apes, and that few creatures are less shrewd than obliviots.

    bellowing (of bullfinches) — self-explanatory!

  25. I suggest an “arrogance” of obliviots, since they are so certain of their expertise in their chosen subject.

  26. My first thought was a “babble” of obliviots, but I love “congress.”

    cluster (again, relates to the outcome, but with the expletive omitted)
    Roomba (always going off in a different direction)
    aerosol (air-headed, light, foggy)

  27. Haven’t had a chance to read all comments so forgive me if I’m repeating something already suggested, but the first word that came to my mind was ‘plague’. Need I say more?!

  28. A Bane of obliviots.

    From vocabulary.com: The noun bane refers to anything that is a cause of harm, ruin, or death. But we often use it for things that aren’t that bad, just feel like it.

  29. As soon as I read the question I thought “congress” as well — mainly due to the political body who at times seem to be the epitome of obliviocity… tell me if I coined a new form of the noun! At any rate add one more vote to making the plural of obliviot a congress.

  30. How about “a delusion of obliviots”?

    And for those who are overly vocal, perhaps a “bleat of obliviots”.

  31. This is very close to pride, but what about an “arrogance” of obliviots. They are so certain they’re right.

  32. My first thought: a blunder of obliviots.

    I would like pride, but lions have already claimed it. I think it needs a unique term that is not associated with another species, product, or corporation.

  33. Feedback loops can be toxic. People who might be reasonably intelligent often become obliviots when they spend time with other obliviots, receive their cues from other obliviots, and lose all shreds of common sense to the encouragement of other obliviots.

    Therefore, I believe the collective should be “loop” as in a: Loop of Obliviots.

  34. My first thought was ‘Chaos’, but that’s been mentioned already.

    Given how I respond to a lot of them (or myself if I catch myself drifting that way), how about an “expletive’?

  35. A herd of obliviots. It’s simple, memorable, and hints at the old saying about X people thinking alike implying that only one of them is thinking… only in this case, it’s more like *none* of them is thinking. Mob mentality is a part of what keeps obliviocy active.

  36. I was surprised that my first thought was not previously suggested: An ELECTORATE of OBLIVIOTS…

    The body of voters? It is true that we get “the politicians we deserve”…. -rc

  37. My first thought was Dunce. That’s two votes. Alternatively a Duh of Obliviots or a D’oh of Obliviots.

  38. I’m honestly not fond of the ‘obliviot’ word myself — it just seems forced and awkward to me — but I like “babble” as the collective term.

  39. I agree with an arrogance of oblivious; it has a ring to it.

    The translation in Proverbs that comes quickest to hand is, roughly, Pride before a fall, arrogance before failure.

    Therefore, another vote for an arrogance of obliviots.

  40. What popped into my mind was “A vacant of Obliviots”.

    I think a Congress of Obliviots would give the group legitimacy.

  41. While I like the term “Congress” of obliviots, and Jeff is swaying me with his suggestion of an “Assurance” of the beasts, my soul feels drawn toward labeling them as a “Clot of Obliviots”.

  42. Late to the party, but I’m in with Obfuscation.

    I love oblivioti but think it should refer to the entire population of obliviots and that a term for a small group is needed as well.

  43. I like congress but what I thought was particularly right on was “blithering”.

    My 2 cents: A dim of obliviots, guffaw, gaff, dunce, dense (hmm, a dense of obliviatti?)

    Anyway, thanks for letting us talk about this Randy! Fun stuff.

  44. Along this same line, many years ago, we used the reasoning that if more than one octopus gives you octopi, and more than one cactus gives you catci, it follows that more than one doofus gives you doofi. And when there are many doofi gathered, it needs a collective, and for whatever reason we decided that they should share the moniker that a group of whales uses: A pod of doofi.

  45. Here are a few that came to mind:

    A School of Obliviots
    A Bureaucracy of Obliviots
    A Regulation of Obliviots
    A Shearing of Obliviots
    A Steaming Pile of Obliviots
    A Blockage of Obliviots
    A Frustration of Obliviots
    A Department of Obliviots
    A Despair of Obliviots
    An Infection of Obliviots

  46. Hat tip to Joe in Ohio for asking this awesome question!

    In no particular order:
    A blather of obliviots
    A sphincter of obliviots
    A clump of obliviots
    A scourge of obliviots
    A rash of obliviots

    I prefer the ones without direct political meaning, as I want wide adoption of this word. 😀

    Thank you Randy!

  47. So many good ones have been suggested, and I have to chime in on choices like “Dullard” and “Despair”. “Annoyance” also can work. My personal favorite would be: A Bloviation of Obliviots.

  48. Pace, Herd, Drove: these are all collective nouns for a group of asses. When I came here to post my idea, though, I saw that someone had suggested a “thicket” and I like that one very much!

  49. Idiots are regularly described as blithering, so it is only appropriate to call a group of obliviots as a blither or a blithering.

  50. At first I kind of liked “pride”, though “hubris” seemed better to me, but then as I thought about it, I find “bane” to be perhaps the best one. Other good ones include (in no particular order) “knot”, “clot”, “loop”, or “blunder”.

    The reason is that while in some cases obliviousy is plainly part hubris, in others it seems to be rather more a case of failing to think /at all/, and thus there is no place in the failing to think for any [apparent] conceit.

    I like bane because the concrete evidence of the presence of an obliviot is usually the bane of the obliviot and/or those around them, though it only requires one obliviot to do so, not an entire bane of them.

    The third definition of bane from Webster’s 1913 is perhaps even more apropos than the one Scott pulled up:

    3. Any cause of ruin, or lasting injury; harm; woe.
    Money, thou bane of bliss, and source of woe.

  51. The first thing that came to my mind is a Squabble of Obliviots. Get a bunch of them together, and a squabble is what you’ll end up with.

    What I also like about Squabble is that it doesn’t come with an association with an existing group. “Pride” brings to mind lions, which are considered Kings and noble animals. I can’t help but think of The Lion King every time I hear it.

    “Congress” brings politics into the term, so whoever is in power at the time is what people may think it slanders.

  52. Fascinating, this Dunning-Kruger Effect. Maybe this explains why the overwhelming majority of people think they are “better than average” car divers, when any car journey, especially on a Sunday (in any country it seems), clearly demonstrates the converse.

    As for a collective noun, what about:

    Confoundment (not sure if that’s a real word, but it should be).
    “Pride” is good though.

    Can one actually register a collective noun? Probably not. The Oxford English Dictionary requires that the word be in common usage for a certain time to be eligible. Don’t know about other dictionaries.

    “Confoundment” looks like a real word to me. I can see it right there! -rc

  53. Because one is more than enough in this case, two, or more would be an excess.

    An excess of obliviots.

    Has kind of a nice ring to it!

  54. This is from the 17th century, but it seems appropriate. How about a blatteroon of obliviots?

  55. I think “a hubris of obliviots” is a great fit, as it’s not pride in the true sense, but excessive pride that leads to downfall. However, I doubt any obliviots would get the point or look up that word. “An arrogance” would be my second choice.

  56. Blather was the first thing that came to mind with me as well. I like it because, as said previously, that’s what they do, but the repeated B sound gives it punch.

  57. So many fine choices here! Here are some I like, both previously mentioned and some not:

    Death (since that often happens to the Darwinningest of them)
    Oblivion (or maybe a similar ‘Obliviousness’)
    Lemmingleap (since the suicide dive has turned out to not be true)

    I see many of my picks do show people not thinking for themselves. Here’s one more, less obvious than the others and a bit of a stretch:

    Life — from MacBeth:
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  58. I first thought of “congregation” but don’t want to upset any religious community. I like “congress”, and I know it has universal meaning, but it may a trifle too American for the worldwide spread of obliviots, as would a “parliament”. But seeing as how the obliviots seem to multiply, how about a contagion of obliviots? Or even an infection?

  59. I like “an obtusity of obliviots” or “a cluster of obliviots” (where “cluster” is short for “clusterfuck”).I also like the suggestion someone else gave of “a confusion of obliviots.”

  60. How about a “culture” of obliviots? As in a culture of bacteria.

    Because … They’re everywhere. They multiply at an alarming rate. They make most people feel sick. They thrive on sh*t!.

    I also like a “rabble” of obliviots.

  61. When I finally got around to reading the latest This is True and saw this the first thoughts I had were:

    An idiocy
    A congress
    A stupidity
    A vacancy
    A void
    A dim

    But noticed when reading the earlier entries I got beaten, despite liking them all. Then I thought maybe it should be one of these

    A trip
    A laugh
    A giggle
    A peel
    A slapstick
    because their behaviour is often funny in the way slapstick comedy or a banana peel fall is funny.

    I couldn’t abide by “a void” — makes it sound like we need more, when we already have a vast overabundance. -rc

  62. Just thought of a couple more:

    A bliss – they always appear to be in total bliss of what’s to happen.
    An arrogance – to suit their attitude.
    A curse – because that’s what a group of them are.
    A deduction – because as the quantity involved goes up the aggregate IQ goes down.

  63. I have to disagree with you about Ernest’s suggestion of “void”. Contract it slightly and you get the instruction “Avoid obliviots”. Just what you should do.

  64. How about a deafen of obliviots? It can refer to their deafening noise as well as to the fact that they seem deaf themselves.

    Seems like a slam on perfectly intelligent deaf people, though…. -rc

  65. I loved “a congress of obliviots” which jives with my recommendation, a slate of obliviots.

    Not sure if others have commented, but there’s a word that describes this kind of collective noun — terms of venery. Fun study if you have time.

  66. I like an Opera of Obliviots.

    In an Opera you have masses of drama, and the players are very loud and difficult to understand because they are singing in a different language.

  67. I like congress, but agree it may to too American, while obliviots are clearly international. How about a Caucus of Obliviots?

  68. I considered a “school” of obliviots due to their following a leader and not really learning anything in the process.

    Then I thought, no, because that would intimate some knowledge present or brains in use.

    Perhaps just a Vog of Obliviots?

  69. Late to class, but: Rave.

    A rave of obliviots. First thing that came to mind. Looked through the other responses and didn’t see it so may at least be worth originality points.

    Actually, I think ‘congress’ is the winner. Congress (lower case) may remind one of our august body, but instead carries a more universal collective meaning. And, the political subtext is not lost on the more caustic among us….

  70. A “committee” of obliviots might refer to a standard group, but I would say that the obliviots in charge might be properly termed “The Oblivioti”.

  71. First thought was not printable….

    Second was ‘An excess’, but this was already suggested.

    After some mulling, what about ‘an intolerance of obliviots’?

    Your first thought was worse than the “clusterfuck” printed above?! -rc

  72. A barricade (since they block everything)
    An enema (because they are a pain in the b…)
    A shower (when they rain, they pour)
    A school (they like teaching)
    A Supreme Court (aren’t hey above congress?)
    A pyramid (since they defy centuries for generations to come)
    An ISIS (they tend to rule fanatically)
    A dew (delicately dampening your every morning)
    A fog (and a thick one at that)
    An El Ninõ (so much hot air)
    A tsunami (washing common sense away)
    A steamroller (crushing everything in its path)
    A crunch (and a painful one at that)
    A pool (can be heated sometimes as well!)
    An academy (graduating honoris causa)
    a tunnel (no light at the end of it)
    A keyboard (you gotta punch it to get some kind of answer)
    An armada (they see themselves as invincible)
    A drool (lots of spent saliva you cannot control)
    a (toxic) waste, a junkyard, a dump (same idea)
    A redundancy (why one when you can have ten?)
    A magnet (attracting each other irresistibly)
    A universe (ever expanding)
    An orphanage (you can’t believe they had parents once)
    A wake (gloomy indeed)
    A cancer (with lousy recovery rate)

  73. With a tip of my hat to my home state’s legislature, I suggest: an Illinois of Obliviots.

    When people pronounce the name of our state as if it were plural, we often say “there is no noise in Illinois.” However, when describing a group of Obliviots, we might actually include the “noise” in Illinois.

  74. I love this discussion, but haven’t seen anything convincing yet. Nor do I have any other suggestions. My comments:

    Pride – Appropriate, but does it insult lions?
    Congress – In the United States, does this insult obliviots?
    Armada – Might work. Unless Spanish be associated in the minds of too many people. I don’t think the Spanish have a corner of obliovcy.
    Vog – Love this one as a perfect descriptor. Kind of similar to smog, but it occurs naturally. It is at least as good as a murder of crows or a gaggle of geese.

    Most of the other terms are derisive. Obliviots, being who they are, would get that and probably would try to sue someone or persuade congress to outlaw the term. Hate speech?

    I’d like to see the group double down on this one. Randy has come up with a perfect term for this ever-increasing group. I’d like to see something equally creative. In my not so humble opinion, the answer is not there yet.

  75. Given the nature of them (hopefully not us!), perhaps “a rant of obliviots” or the olde Scottish “a fankle of obliviots”.

    The latter has the appeal of precision usage without duplicating an existing collective; the former neatly summarizes their typical output.

  76. An “abyss” of obliviots kind of says it all for me — the dark murk whence they arise, the endless depths of their folly, the place your faithful readers would like to put them, and where we’re all likely to wind up unless RC and others keep up the good fight.

    Also, a QND google failed to disclose the use of “abyss” as a collective noun for anything else (Christ as “an abyss of light” aside). Surely the collective noun for obliviots should be unique in usage.

  77. Very excellent list so far, very creative readers. There are at least 20 suggestions that fit perfectly, but my reaction is “first answer is usually correct”, so it would be “Pride”. However to pick out a couple of the good ones buried above: stupor, drool, and plague.

    I submit A Myrmidon of Obliviots (using the 2nd meaning of the word: “blind follower”). Since they clearly only parrot talking points and don’t think, this fits most of them well.

    But I vote for Pride.

  78. I second “arrogance” of obliviots. I’ve always like the description of the most impactful obliviots as “a breathtaking combination of ignorance and arrogance”.

  79. Seems to me, although it’s redundant, “Committee” should do the job nicely. An alternative: “A coma of obliviots” has a nice ring to it, although it is a bit unkind to those who are actually in a coma.

  80. You’re thinking too small, not acknowledging the true size of the problem.

    A “World” of obliviots.

  81. I researched some synonyms for ‘pride’. Smugness was one of them. I think ‘A smug of obliviots’ would do it.

  82. My vote goes for “leap”: a leap of obliviots. It’s perfect: fitting into “leap first, look later” and suggestive of lemmings.

  83. Congress is excellent, but suggests the spread of obliviots is limited to the handful of countries where such a democratic system applies. The same applies to Parliament, Senate, Assembly, Republic, and so on. Obliviots are a global plague, and they find strength in numbers.

    So, with apologies to another borderless (and very worthwhile) group:

    Oblivioti sans frontiers.

  84. Several good suggestions but I think the proper term for a group of obliviots may already exist and be in current accepted use, Consensus.

    Think about it, at its simplest is a group of people all agreeing on a subject. Not whether or not the opinion is actually defensible, as in, “10,000 _______ can’t be wrong about global warming!”

    The problem behind such reasoning being simple unless you’re a follower. What if the first one to come up with the obliviacy (Original idea), was wrong and just had a very compelling pitch he made to a large unprepared group. One that by and large took him at his word because being the first he could claim being the world’s premiere expert on the subject. Ignoring the wisdom of the Greek scholars and not questioning the original premise or its author’s competency on matters and accepting it on nothing more than a single man’s word that of course they don’t see their obliviocy as because other like minded obliviots agree. Meaning they have a CONSENSUS, so they must be right. No matter how much evidence supports their deniers. Who they know dispute their claims, not because rational people base their opinions on evidence and case history of past similar endeavors, but because they are evil, insert derogatory term, only pushing their own, “EVIL”, agenda. Likewise proven by the obliviot’s having a CONSENSUS.

  85. What a wealth of candidates there are already.

    The ones that appealed to me most are blind, blunder, doh, ignorance and confoundment.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not American, but “congress” just means a gathering to me, with no pejorative or other connotations.

    And of course I’m going to offer my own suggestion: a blank of obliviots.

  86. An Obstruction of Obliviots.

    It seems to me that on encountering Obliviots that they are always an obstruction.

  87. Unsure if this has been suggested previously, but while my first thought was also a Congress, I then thought about making it more generic, and going for a Parliament of Obliviots. That being said, I of course mean no offends to any parliament of owls currently following this thread… 😉

  88. Parliament is OK – it is international.

    I also like a KISS of obliviots — from the Keep it Simple, Stupid – but in this case Keep it Stupid, Simpleton.

  89. So far, the three Cees sound best to me: congress, conceit, and clot. I particularly like the directness of a clot of obliviots.

    The first thing that came to mind, however, was a bag of obliviots, as in ten pounds of stuff in a five-pound bag. 8^)

  90. I confess I went on the Wikipedia list of terms of venery to see if I could find a good one. Found a couple!


    Unrelated note: It would seem that the mascot of “True” ought to be the wombat — the collective term for a group of them is a “wisdom!”

    Except that the wombat is already the mascot of Paul Myers and his terrific TalkBiz News online business newsletter. -rc

  91. A small group of obliviots might be an Obliviette.

    I love a Congress and a Babble.

    And for Obliviots who are so frozen to their past that they will never change even with the facts staring them in the face or gnawing off their lips, how about Obliviyeti.

  92. How about a “lowering” of obliviots. Whenever two or more get together the collective intelligence lowers.

  93. An Abattoir of Obliviots
    A Box of Obliviots — just because of its simplicity, and can play with the routine Gumpism
    A Cemetery of Obliviots

  94. How about a “board” (as in “board of directors”) or an “executive” as in (“executive council”, “executive officer”) of obliviots?

    Sounds too dignified to me. -rc

  95. I cast my vote for “Arrogance of Obliviots”. Has a nice ring to it.

    It’s not as subtly condemning as “Pride”, but then, we’re talking about obliviots here. No need to be covert with the sarcasm — it’s wasted on that lot, anyway. And I think “Pride of Obliviots” is an insult to lions.

    And there’s also the proximity of “arrogance” to “ignorance”, just for extra punch.

    I like “the Obliviotti”, too. But I agree that such a term refers to the whole of the obliviot body, while the term we seek here describes a partial grouping.

    Thanks, RC, for such an engaging and amusing debate! And the same to be said for TRUE. Don’t EVER unsub me … or at least wait until I make the HU list!

  96. Pride of obliviots has a nice ring to it, but…

    Seems to me that we can borrow terminology from violent weather descriptors to encompass variable volumes of obliviots: An F1 of obliviots; an F3 of obliviots; or (for a very large, destructive, swirling, mindless horde) an F5 of obliviots.

  97. How about an “oblique” of obliviots, since an oblique goes off on an unexplained angle away from the center of the topic at hand?

  98. As friend suggested… “a misery of obiliviots”?

    Or, as I experienced this weekend… I’d like to offer for consideration “a traffic-jam of obliviots”.

    I know my demeanor changes for the worse when I’m around a cluster of obliviots, especially when having to come to a full stop on a road with no stop signs or stop lights!

  99. I really liked Bronwyn’s suggestions of Intrusion and Scourge, since Obliviots frequently intrude where they have no business, however, for consideration:

    A Flood of Oblivious
    A Whirlpool of Obliviots
    A Stampede of Oblivious
    A Lowing of Oblivious


  100. Well, there are several options for the appropriate plural:

    1 Oblivions (may be a problem with this; there’s a restaurant in Detroit by the same name)
    2 A farce of obliviots (would that include “Use the Farce, Luke…)
    3 A concussion of obliviots
    4 A neuralgia of obliviots
    5 A colon of obliviots

    Yes I work in healthcare…

    Following #5 above, my wife’s suggestion is not printable… she’s a nurse too!

  101. Rather than ruin existing words, let us call them a “derp”… in honor of the Pamcakes Owls picture (Google it, and yes that is an ‘m’ in “pamcakes”).

  102. Brilliant idea!

    And a wonderful lot of suggestions, though I don’t think I’ve spotted ‘a self-satisfaction of obliviots’ or, more concisely perhaps, ‘a smug of obliviots’.

  103. I suggest a clutch of obliviots, because they are always clutching something such as their assumptions.

  104. The collective noun should be confederacy. “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” — Jonathan Swift

  105. My thought was an “Arrogance” of Obliviots. I didn’t send it in because I thought several others would have beaten me to the punch-line.

    Quite a few did, but I had to narrow it down to a workable number. -rc

  106. I know I’m late to the party, but I didn’t see anyone suggest a SNAFU of Obliviots, similar to Rose’s FUBAR, which made the finals.

  107. For anyone who remembers the TV show “Get Smart,” A Smart of Obliviots is appropriate.

    I asked you not to tell me that! -rc

  108. Pride is taken (by lions, and let’s not argue with lions). Also bloat (by hippos) and confusion (by architects). But the effort to find the best collective noun reminded me of the story, told to me by a courtly clerk of the New York Supreme Court, First District, about the Oxford dons seeking a singular collective.

    Seems the learned tutors were out for an evening stroll when they beheld a trio of prostitutes. There ensued a debate: Should persons of the oldest profession, in such a group, be referred to as a trilogy of Trollopes? A jam of tarts? An anthology of pros? Or a flourish of strumpets?

    My suggestion for a group of obliviots is fog. If an acronym is desired, I’d go with GOP . . .

  109. I recognize this is too late to be considered but…

    I was all for “pride of obliviots” until I read on. I fell for “dord of obliviots” and fell hard. The fact that the word was, itself, an error seems really appropriate but, in keeping with tag line tradition, it’s a great — using something wrong for the group of wrong seems to echo the best of your tag lines. Then I actually did lol; how wrongly-right would it be to find the word BACK in a dictionary with a definition rather than an explanation — all because of the meaning True gave it!

  110. On a somewhat unrelated note (but somewhat related), I noticed that in your comments below the newsletter you included a section about this discussion that began with the phrase “a babble of obliviots”. You followed that by stating that you liked the repeated ‘b’ sound, and I thought you might like to know that there is a name for that — consonance. (It almost sounds like consequence, which is something obliviots never seem to consider prior to acting… but I digress).

    Thanks! I couldn’t think of the word for it. You’re the first to come up with it. -rc

  111. As I recently noted in my renewal, I am way behind in my reading, but enjoying catching up. This discussion was fabulous, on so many levels, with lots of great comments from all over the place. Who knew, other than you, Randy, that there were so many intelligent, thoughtful people in Florida? The suggestions that made me laugh the most were Clump and Rash. Robert in Houston, TX suggested F1, F2 etc. as a means for grading the impact of the collective, but why not simply Tornado? Another TX neighbor (I have a house in Trophy Club, TX) in Frisco suggested Obfuscation. It reminded me of my favorite bumper sticker: Eschew Obfuscation.

    Wow… you were more than a year behind on your issues? I’m glad you’ve enjoyed catching up — the stories are indeed pretty much timeless. And yes, there are very smart people in Florida, and in every other state. Just as there are obliviots in every state. -rc


Leave a Comment