by David Rosenbaum

IT Lingo: What to Call a Group of Users, and Other Useful Suggestions

Dec 01, 20031 min

Collective nouns are one of the more vibrant parts of the English language. There’s the stirring pride of lions, the poetic murmuring of starlings, the onomatopoeic gaggle of geese, the quirky bed of flowers, and the alliterative bevy of beauties.

IT has its own collective nouns. There’s the bank of servers and the bundle of applications. Those are, however, a pallid pack, and we wanted to come up with better, more evocative ones?ones that would illuminate the true swashbuckling character of the IT discipline. We suggest:

A sorrow of servers

An agony of apps

A whine of users

A dilemma of desktops

A knot of processors

A nimbus of networks

A vault of passwords

A liability of laptops

An ovation of handhelds

A slough of spam

Have your own suggestions? Send them to Michael Goldberg, Trendlines editor, via e-mail at (Please make sure to write “collective noun” in the subject line.)