Yesterday, I got among those chain e-mails that seem to touch on the truth and also strike the funny bone:

“We are all familiar through a herd of cows, a flock of chickens, a institution of fish, and a gaggle of geese. However, less commonly recognized are a pride of lions, a murder of crows (as well as their cousins, the rooks and ravens), an exaltation of doves. And, presumably bereason they look so wise, a parliament of owls.

You are watching: What do you call a large group of baboons

Now consider a team of baboons. Baboons are the loudest, the majority of dangerous, many obnoxious, the majority of viciously aggressive, and leastern intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper collective noun for a team of baboons? Believe it or not, a congress! That pretty much describes the things that come out of Washington! You just can’t make this stuff up.”

I really wanted to believe this. It would make a great lead-in to a story about the latest shenanigans of that esteemed body (occasional trumped by a Supreme Court decision). However, it’s not true. I checked it out on The Providence Journal Polititruth website to be sure, and also my wishes were crumelted. However, Polititruth found out a good deal even more, which virtually renders up for the disappointment. They consulted several experts, and uncovered that the president of the Dictionary Society of The United States and Canada, Orin Hargraves, could uncover no evidence that congress is the correct term. “Apparently someone just made it up,” he told Politifact. “It has actually the ring of truthiness and so people favor it. They do behave actually prefer the caricature of the baboons, but I think real baboons most likely behave a lot better.”

Hargraves was correct. Baboons reportedly behave actually much much better than most human beings, particularly those in Congress. Politireality asked two anthropologists who really recognize baboons—Shirley Strum, director of the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project in Nairobi, Kenya; and Larissa Swedell, who research studies primates in Ethiopia and South Africa. Both shelp the correct term for a team of baboons is a troop.

Swedell disputed the chain e-mail’s description of baboons. “Leastern intelligent? No way… Amongst primates, baboons are pretty smart,” she said, “Baboons are socially innovative and very smart.”

Amongst primates, Strum declared, “no species is as dangerous as people.”

So there’s no doubt the chain email is wrong. However, we have the right to uncover some consolation in the reality that the specialists agree on this: Being governed by this Congress is worse than being governed by baboons!

Source: C. Eugene Emery Jr., Chain e-mail claims that once baboons congregate, it’s referred to as a ‘congress.’ December 10, 2011.

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www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2012/jan/02/chain-email/chain-e-mail-claims-when-baboons-congregate-its-ca/. Accessed July 9, 2013.