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Paper Monitor

13:26 UK time, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's something wonderfully anachronistic about the phrase "girlie calendar". Paper Monitor has an occasional theme on the subject of journalese - words and sayings that are only ever uttered by journalists in print. To wit, "girlie calendar".

At least one paper deploys it atop the story of the scientific research into how men respond to images of women in bikinis. The story, readers won't be surprised to hear, has garnered a fair bit of coverage in today's papers.

The thrust of the findings is that men dehumanise women who are depicted in two-piece beach wear. And dehumanisation of fellow humans is, as we know, a bad thing.

So how do the papers accept the challenge to show their better sides on this gauntlet being thrown down? The answer is, not always as you might think.

Exhibit A: a full page given over to the story with the headline "University of the bleedin' obvious" and below it a picture of two high-fiving beach volleyball players in requisite minimalist uniform.

It's the Sun, obviously? Nope.

The Mail then? Wrong again.

Step forward the Independent. In mitigation, the picture is cropped to show top halves only... which is more than you can say for the Times.

The Mail, meanwhile, desists from illustrating the story at all, although it does invoke the "girlie calendar" phrase. And in an echo of the Indy's headline, it can't help but note in the story itself the discovery that men remember images of scantily clad women better than those of fully-clothed women are hardly surprising.

The gong for most po-faced presentation, however, must go to the Guardian for its straighter than straight take. No pictures. No mention of girlies or the bleedin' obvious. And in referring to the findings based on MRI brain scans, just this deadpan final line: "The same area lights up before using power tools to do DIY".

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