I’m in the midst of an obsession that is threatening to take over my life.
I’ll back up and tell you about it so that we can share the psychosis.
So the other day I’m minding my own business, reading a Ruth Rendell mystery, Adam and Eve and Pinch Me (which despite this being an Amazon affiliate link, I do not recommend) when all of a sudden I come upon this sentence:
His almost uncanny success on the racecourse owed more to instinct and serendipity than knowledge of horseflesh.
Let me ask you, do you know what horseflesh is?
Because I didn’t, so I pressed the word on my Kindle and this popped up:
n. horses considered collectively.
Which incidentally is the problem with Kindles. Because if you are reading a paper book and see a word you don’t know, you’re all what the fuck, what is this a vocabulary lesson? Let me just go on to the next word that I DO know! Because that’s the American way.
But since I opened that Pandora’s dictionary box and sweet ignorance wasn’t an option, let me just say: seriously?
Why have I never heard of this? You’d think with all the pride of lions, murder of crows bullshit going around, someone would mention horseflesh.
It’s like there’s some kind of horseflesh conspiracy of silence. I blame the GOP.
So over the next few days, I asked people if they knew what a group of horses was called. And you know what? No one did. I got “a group of horses” “a bunch of horses” and, bizarrely, “troika.” But no one knew. No one. (Admittedly, I asked like 5 people, but it’s not like people are willing to stop and talk to me, you know. This isn’t my fault.)
And now I can’t stop trying to work horseflesh into conversation.
For example, “Sure, I’d go to the races, but I’m not that fond of horseflesh” and “wild horseflesh couldn’t drag me away.”
I’m determined to work horseflesh into the vernacular.
Hey, we all have our callings.
One year ago ...
- Because no one listens to me - 2010