Diseases and diagnoses are familiar words in the veterinary vocabulary and we seldom give much thought as to how we use them; we are more concerned about the practical problems they imply. However, there are occasions when it is essential that we use familiar words and concepts in a way that leaves no doubt as to the logical implications of our statements. The growing interest in surveys, monitoring and the use of computerised systems for epidemiological purposes points to the need for this discipline. In order to air the matter this paper presents some personal opinions that were based on Scadding (1967) and subsequently moulded by experience when designing a computerised data bank.
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