Anthropomorphism Special

Daily Express, December 1, 2017

The idea of a ‘hero’ pigeon is ludicrous. Courage means doing something one is afraid to do, usually for the good of another. Can anyone seriously think a bird is capable of this? Could a pigeon have any motive for flying from A to B apart from the expectation of a nice corn dinner?

Animals should be referred to as ‘it’, not ‘he’ or ‘she’, unless the circumstances are unusual, and I can’t think of an example at present.

An acceptable heading on this would be:

£20,000 for
pigeon ‘VC’

That story appeared yesterday. Today we had one about a pair of explosive-sniffing dogs.

The Times, December 2, 2017

i newspaper, December 2, 2017

‘Hero’ dogs are as impossible as ‘hero’ pigeons. As anyone who has had a dog knows, they work on instinct or for rewards. The idea of altruism is ridiculous.

They should be  referred to as ‘which’, not ‘who’, a pronoun reserved for humans.

It is a claim that they cannot be rehomed, not a fact. I am prepared to bet good money that after all this, new homes will be found for them.*

If you say someone is a minister, you need to specify what department he is in. Sir Alan Duncan is at the Foreign Office.

Some other thoughtless and silly headlines on the same story:

Hero military dogs who saved thousands of lives face death row


Hero British Army dogs who helped save thousands of lives in Afghanistan to be executed



SAS hero Andy McNab leads fight to stop heroic Melton military dogs being put down


Nick Ferrari’s Plea: Someone Re-Home These Hero Army Dogs – LBC


Campaign to stop hero Army dogs being put down because they can’t be re-homed


Etc, etc.  Is there no one with an original thought in his or her head?


Two hero war dogs Kevin and Dazz, who saved hundreds of lives in Afghanistan, have been rescued from death row in victory for The Sun

The Sun, December 4, 2017

Still heroic.


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