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Paper Monitor

11:41 UK time, Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Forget the banking crisis, the issue affecting newspapers at the moment is the superlatives crisis.

How do you describe a catastrophic situation this week, when it could easily be eclipsed next week?

The Daily Telegraph calls yesterday "Market mayhem", while the Times go with "World takes fright". The Independent, on the other hand, goes all B-movie with its "The day that fear hit the markets". The word fear is picked out in red just in case you don't geddit.

It's thesaurus time as subs look for alternatives to "crash", "freefall", "plunge", "nosedive" and "plummet". Shares have had an encounter with a "cliff" or "precipice". For the more exotic, the current crisis is not a "crisis", it's an "imbroglio" or a "cataclysm". The sub-prime roots of the crisis have yet to be described as "Byzantine" but it's only a matter of time.

Just look at how credit crunch has come to dominate our every living, breathing moment. It's almost a year since Paper Monitor first breezily quipped that the then novel sounding credit crunch summoned thoughts of a breakfast cereal. So ubiquitous is the phrase today there's an almost unbroken tummy rumble at its constant mention. But here's a thought - if the credit crunch were a breakfast cereal, what would it look and taste like? (Answers on the back of a comments form, below, please, or illustrations - should you be feeling ambitious, to yourpics@bbc.co.uk, subject title "CEREAL CRUNCH".)
willets_203.jpg
Back to the papers, and for the second day, Paper Monitor must make reference to the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts' list of 50 people who have ruined Britain. Today is numbers 21 to 35 and it looks almost as if Letts is running out of villains.

Let's face it, number 28, Helen Willetts (above), the BBC weather forecaster, makes an unlikely enemy of the people. Letts rails thus: "The queen bee of the lot is a geeky-smiled creature called Helen Willetts, who parades her Chester accent with care and frowns at the tragedy of it all if she has to suggest rain is on the horizon."

Having also doled out wailing and gnashing of the teeth on such Mailite icons as Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, one can only wonder at who will get the next dose.

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