A Redundancy of Hyperlinks


Collective nouns are fun. They are fun because they are weird. Here’s the wikipedia glossary of collective nouns, and another collection specifically for groups of people. Some standouts, for me, include:

  • an ambush of tigers: because if there’s ever a group of tigers, chances are you are not ready for them
  • an ambush of widows: more funny because it’s also used for tigers
  • an argument of wizards: they seem the sort to argue
  • an ascension of larks: both musically and aerodynamically satisfying
  • a barren of mules: depressing but accurate (mostly)
  • a bind of eels: I imagine many eels together would make quite a tangle
  • a conflagration of arsonists: apropos
  • a conspiracy/storytelling/unkindness of ravens: all equally interesting to me, but then, I find ravens and crows very interesting in general. Speaking of which,
  • a hover/murder/storytelling of crows: it’s this repeated “storytelling” that is especially intriguing to me. Because crows, and ravens, are smarter than you think and do communicate on incredibly intricate levels, to the point that they are telling one another stories
  • a decanter of deans: because, wine
  • a sodom of shepherds: because there needed to be some biblical stuff in there

Anyway, I was looking for a collective noun for hyperlinks. Or just links, when that failed. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t find one, so I decided to make one. And it is “A redundancy of hyperlinks.” Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Some collective nouns have an inherent logic to them, even when the logic is weird. My logic for a “redundancy of links” is quite simple: when there is a large group of links, no one follows them. At the very least, no one follows all of them. Many times, especially when people are making arguments and they link out to supporting materials, the existence of the link is enough to validate the argument. Even if the link goes nowhere particularly useful.

Case in point: this post contains a redundancy of links. I guarantee that you didn’t click through to them. In part because links are disruptive and distracting to a narrative if they’re used as they’re meant to be. If you’re reading a story or engaging with an argument, you don’t want to be taken away from it. And if you do click through a link, and it takes you anywhere with substance, chances are it takes you a while to come back to what you were reading. If you come back at all.

Sometimes the link itself is redundant, sometimes it renders the article it’s linking to or linked from redundant.

So, a redundancy of links.

It’s gonna be a thing.



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