In an article in the Daily Mail about a shark watching jaunt (a couple of good pictures) off the coast of South Africa here a certain Joseph Butler (from the U.K.) tells us:
‘What I love most about this kind of photography, is breaking down people’s preconceptions about nature,’ … ‘Although a 13ft-long, 1,700lb shark sounds like an unstoppable force of rage, they are in fact largely being decimated by humankind with our own selfishness and brutality.’
Why do these fatuous people insist upon lecturing the reader and if they’re going to do so why don’t their sentences work? First of all “decimate[d]” means kill one of every ten and isn’t a general term for injure and secondly “unstoppable force of nature” is an extremely poor formulation. Then there’s the fact that sharks aren’t simply abused and misunderstood creatures as he is apparently suggesting. Indeed most people understand them very well. They’re monsters who will eat you and from which you cannot escape if they catch you in water over your head. People know that, even I know that and Joseph Butler the shark expert must know that too.
Jeez – spare me from these anthropomorphic Brits.