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Paper Monitor

11:47 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Now, don't let it be said that Paper Monitor is not attuned to the News of the World/hacking/Met police/Downing Street mega-furore. Paper Monitor, like so many others, is currently preoccupied with little else.

But equally, Paper Monitor is sensitive to the fact that, at times such as these, it is easy to lose sight of the daily press's many and varied riches in the face of one all-engulfing story.

And what a shame that would be.

That would mean, for a start, missing out on Zoe Williams's latest article in the Guardian, written in the wake of her discovery that the name she had chosen for her two-year-old daughter, Harper, has now been given to the latest offspring of the Beckhams.

Ms Williams had named her child after Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. But now, she conceded, Williams Jr's title will carry quite different associations, just as one "could not be called Kylie and move freely about the world, without people assuming certain things about you":

There is an undertone of snobbery here, I can see that - Harper did have a resonance before, and it was a literary one (or, if you prefer a "middle-class, posey, fake" one)... But I would contend here that what I object to is not that the Beckhams aren't middle class, but that they are celebrities. There is something classlessly sad about emulating celebrity, aching for their blessedness, on behalf of your children.

Or, indeed, one could flick past Deborah Ross's Independent column, in which she observes that Vogue magazine has identified the "ninkle" which, according to the magazine, "are wrinkles on our knees and they are the beginning of the end of the short skirt".

Ninkles, the title's deputy editor Emily Sheffield informs us, "are not to be confused with cankles (fat ankles where calf and ankle become one").

Ms Ross predicts that it cannot be long before specialised "ninkle cream" is available in the shops:

So thanks, Emily, for giving us a new body part to hate, and the new expensive lotions to purchase, and to all those who find they have cankles and ninkles and wrankles and finkles? Your best bet is to jump off a cliff, preferably while wearing trousers. There was no easy way of saying it.

And one would certainly not want to overlook Robert Crampton's column in the Times about the phenomenon of dropping one's iPhone down the toilet - described by Mr Crampton as a "peculiarly modern, almost exclusively female, torment" and "one that has afflicted virtually every woman of my acquaintance at least once in the past few years".

The columnist tells of such a friend, Nathalie, who suffered such a trauma and nursed her sodden device for hours afterwards.

Thankfully for all concerned, this News International phone story had a happy ending: "The triumphal yell as she was rewarded with a pulsing Apple symbol could be heard across the capital."

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