quean: noun: 1. An impudent or badly behaved girl or woman.2. A prostitute.
congeries: noun: A disorderly collection; a jumble.
The first, via @everyword (do you know that Belly song by the way?). How have I never heard this word? Rather, how have I never seen it? (I may have heard it and assumed I was hearing its homonym.) See Jonathan Swift:
Should I the Queen of Love refuse,The second, via Marjorie Perloff's response to Matvei Yankelvich in the LARB:
Because she rose from stinking Ooze?
To him that looks behind the Scene,
Satira's but some pocky Quean.
Matvei Yankelevich understands this situation very well but, I think, mistakes my essay’s intended audience, as well as some of its terminology. From his own perspective, as publisher on the downtown New York poetry scene, where a congeries of young experimental poets are producing a great variety of texts — visual poetry, performance texts, serial poems, documentary — that can’t be pigeonholed, he objects to what he takes to be the binary opposition between Conservatism and Conceptualism in my essay."A congeries." What are some other words that sound plural but are actually singular? I know "peas" or "pease" was originally a mass noun (as in "pease porridge in the pot"), and the singular "pea" is a back-formation. Incidentally, "congeries" sounds like a kind of porridge (see "congee"). Either that or a congress of monkeys.