My latest Lair of the Beasts column at Mania.com deals with the usage of the highly emotive term of "monster" when it comes to creatures of the cryptozoological kind.
It begins like this:
"When is a monster not a monster? Well, I’ll tell you: when it’s a monster-sized animal. Within the field of Cryptozoology, when someone uses the term 'monster' they are usually referring to a creature of definitively unknown origin and identification. But, sometimes, the word is used to describe something that may be a regular animal, but one of unusually massive proportions.
"A classic example is the Loch Ness Monster – or, more correctly, the Loch Ness Monsters, since it’s absurd to think that the lore of the loch is based around just one long-lived animal. For the Scottish tourist board – Visit Scotland, as it’s known – it would be an absolute dream come true if the Nessies were proved to be plesiosaurs, those famous, long-extinct marine reptiles."
And here's the link...