Terry Pratchett

Collected Assassinations

“Is there a collective noun for assassins?” asks Jenni Hill on Twitter.

Good question.

The first thing I can think of is borrowed from crows: “a murder of assassins” sounds right… and I reckon this is the very first thought that popped into your head too.

But I love collective nouns – particularly ones which aren’t actually real – so I can’t quite stop thinking about this one.

So far, I’ve come up with “a stealth”, “an abdication”, “a violence” and “a whisper” of assassins. But my favourite is probably “a pratchett of assassins”, because it’s just *right*.

Mind you, whether it’s a murder, a violence or a full-blown pratchett of assassins, I don’t think I’d want to meet them in a darkened alley. Not unless I had a bristling of swords on my side…

What about you? What are your favourite non-existent collective nouns… and how would you answer Jenni?

Leave a comment, and I’ll collect the best ones that have come in via the blog & Twitter!


Terry Pratchett & the Sword Made of Stars

The winner of this week’s “Ohmigodthat’sincrediblycool” award is none other than Sir Terry Pratchett–who, on gaining his knighthood, went off and made a sword. Out of stars.

Alright, meteorites. And some other stuff.

But still… Made. A. Sword.

Isn’t it shiny?

The author, 62, who has sold about 65 million copies of his books, which include the Discworld series, said: “Most of my life I’ve been producing stuff which is intangible and so it’s amazing the achievement you feel when you have made something which is really real.”

I think my favourite part of this story is not that he’s thrown a few bits of meteorite in there (although I do love the suggestion he’s got hundreds of them cluttering up the house, rather like we have dust bunnies at Morgan Towers) but that he smelted the ore himself in a lo-fi kiln, the way it would have been done in the days it was believed swords had souls.

I don’t know about all the others, but I’m pretty certain that sword has soul to spare.