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Paper Monitor

12:14 UK time, Friday, 18 April 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Ah, judges. The gentlemen and women of the bench can so often derided as a bit fuddy-duddy and decidedly aloof. But they give voice to those inner questions we all have.

Who, honestly, could respond with confidence if invited to "sizzle my nizzle" before Mr Justice Lewison presided over a rap lyrics copyright case in 2003? And perhaps even Paul Gascoigne himself has wondered "Who is Gazza?" during the long nights of the soul to which he is prone.

So all hail Judge Robert Patterson who has told JK Rowling - to her face - that the names and words in Harry Potter are "gibberish" and even harder to follow than Dickens. "I couldn't remember the characters and lots of the terms," the Daily Mail reports him as saying.

Meanwhile, the Mail again seeks to inject oomph and outrage into its front page, not with italics or exclamation marks, but the deployment of upper case letters and judicious underlining:
"... food prices rising at SIX times official figure - THE REAL RATE OF INFLATION"

The Sun, too, is fond of underscoring its page one headlines to make its point:
"Electrician called Trev is guilty of preaching hate (Trev would rather we all call him Abu Izzadeen)"
And again, although this time to denote excitement:
"Jolie's first photo shoot - Angelina as the model teenager"

Finally, on turning to page 12 of the Times, Paper Monitor is suddenly yanked back to its time as a cub reporter on an evening paper. In particular, those dread days when the editor pinged over a "SEE. ME. NOW." message.

No doubt the sub who tapped in the headline: "Gywneth Dunwoody, outspoken Labour Stalwart, dies aged 77" will receive some such summons. For getting a name wrong is both unforgivable and a worryingly easy slip-up to make.

Paper Monitor would hereby like to apologise to all those who share Ms Dunwoody's first name, for it too has to mentally juggle the "w", the "y" and the "e" each and every time the need arises to write "Gwyneth". Sorry, Mum.

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