I’ve always been fascinated by group names. Not musical groups, collections of like entities, herds and flocks.
We are unique. Any one of us is an entirely unique individual. As ADHDers we often define ourselves as unique, quirky, one of a kind. As an undiagnosed one of these individuals it never occurred to me that I might be part of a group. I always felt singular. Now that has changed. I now belong to a loosely knit organization of like minded individuals.
A collection of ADHDers is a no mans land for the so called normal members of society. They don’t fit in. They think to linearly to be able to keep up with the speed of our thoughts. They can’t mentally change gears fast enough to follow along. I think it behooves us to come up with a name for a group of ourselves, a group of ADHDers.
Owls are found in parliaments, antelope are found in clusters and geese are found in gaggles. What would you expect to find ADHDers in?
You can come across a company of badgers, a coffle of donkeys or a cohort of zebras but what name best describes a collection of us?
Some of the more common names for groups may be applicable. We might want a name that doesn’t stand out as much as we do … a nest, a bevy or a swarm? Hmmmm, maybe not.
Perhaps we could borrow one of the more exotic group names. Worms come in clews. Is that what we need? Do we need a clew?
A collection of water buffalo is a pot, that might be misunderstood though. Many of us self medicate with a substance that goes by that name. Also, many of us don’t have a pot to … well, let’s just say that we aren’t always well off.
Vicuna, South American relatives of the llama, get together in posses. I have a posse, but they aren’t all ADHDers so that’s out. A group of Tapirs is called a measure. That sounds too standardized for us – and people are already telling us we don’t measure up.
I think we may not ever find a word among the existing ones that could be accepted by all of us. Many possibilities are out there, A scurry of squirrels, a cream of turkeys, an unkindness of ravens, a romp of otters, a muster of peafowl, the list goes on and on.
Just off shore you’ll find bobs of seals and crashes of sea lions. And here’s another aquatic oddity: audiences of squid (do squid pay enough attention to be in an audience?) and shivers of sharks (a shiver should make the squid pay attention).
Unwanted groups might include a clutter of spiders, a mischief of rats or a gaze of raccoons. We’re not always unwanted, but we’re often surrounded by clutter and up to mischief, and we’ve been known to gaze distractedly.
To make matters worse, some entities have more than one word to describe their groups. Penguins can be found in waddles, rookeries, colonies and rafts. Pigs collect in a herd, a drove, a mob or a drift. You’ll find pigeons in a loft, a flight or a kit. Do we need two or more terms to describe a collection of ourselves?
Many of these words seem burdened with connotations that are either confusing or negative, but, I think I may have found two words for us. I think a group of people who share the traits of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder should be called either “a distraction” or “a focus” depending on their behaviour when encountered.
Right now, I’m on my way to the local cafe to meet with a focus of my peers. We’ll be planning our next evening out together and you can be sure that when we head out we’ll be a distraction.
These are just the words I thought of. You’re welcome to use them, or you may have your own. If so, I’d love to hear what they are …
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Last reviewed: 23 Nov 2011