It’s not all fun spending a week in a house with a pedant whose current reading matter is the biography of a logical positivist (or that of any other philosopher, perhaps). I was told yesterday that describing someone as “a good poet” was meaningless, it was a value judgment, that what I was actually saying was, “she is a poet; hurrah!” (As opposed to “she is a poet; boo!”)
We did however manage to see eye to eye – or was that hear ear to ear? – when the news was on the other night, reporting on a disease affecting dogs in the UK recently. The disease remains unidentified, but the reporter said that some progress had been made after vets observed clusters of dogs dying all across the country from the south west to the north east.
It is probably sad but true that in the course of their work vets observe animals dying. But to observe clusters of them dying and not take action – as opposed to noticing the clusters of reported dog deaths – seems heartless. I think any vet who did so would be a bad vet and deserve to be booed.