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Paper Monitor

12:42 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Aspersions have previously been cast on Paper Monitor's education. As recently as Monday.

So after being brought up short by this sentence - "The PM was sounding besotted. Were other Europeans as twitterpated?" (Times political sketch) - one's first reaction was not "Twitterpated? Pass me a dictionary so that I can add to my already ample [pause for effect] vocabulary!" but to gloomily muse on one's ignorance.

But gloom be gone. Even the most planet-brained of the team in Monitor Towers - who eats dictionaries for breakfast and snacks on Latin conjugations - failed to provide a definition (but, never willingly defeated, muttered "sounds vaguely familiar...").

While "twitterpated" is not listed in the OED, it is in the Urban Dictionary, the most popular definition being "the flighty exciting feeling you get when you think about/see the object of your affection". Another poster adds that Beatrix Potter uses it to describe Squirrel Nutkin skipping through the leaves. And another says it refers to someone who updates their Twitter feed a lot. All of which seem apt in the circumstances.

Meanwhile, a Russian ex-spy has bought the Evening Standard, a local London paper, for £1 - twice its cover price. Ah, the strange economics of newspapers. Paper Monitor last week bought a magazine in a high street newsagent, yet got a £1 discount for buying the Standard as well.

Nor is it the only one to offer a copy as an appetiser to tempt you to buy again. Last summer, when thirsty at an airport, Paper Monitor bought the Daily Telegraph. Because it came with a side order of bottled water.

And finally, yet more personal secrets from the corridors of power. Earlier this week Nicolas Sarkozy's personal trainer talked at length about the French president's perineum, a part of the body where the sun rarely shines (even for nudists). And now the Telegraph carries the news that Jacques Chirac has not only been bitten by the family dog, but that said dog is on antidepressants.

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