Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Langham Code

I was reading an article in the 'Guardian' concerning the sad case of the comedy actor Chris Langham, who is facing charges of indecent assault. I got the impression that the writer of the piece knew more than he felt secure about putting into print, and this suspicion was confirmed by a note at the foot of the article explaining: 'If you wish to know more about a possible motive, fold along the dotted lines'. It was only when thus prompted that I noticed some faint dotted lines running horizontally through the typesetting. Naturally, I folded the paper as suggested to find that certain lines of type joined crudely up to form the phrase 'self-financed film project'.

I marvelled at this new journalistic technique, which presumably avoided legal difficulties, as well as explaining the appearance of certain apparently awkward or inappropriate words in the prose.

I did actually glance at an article in the Guardian on this topic while eating a sandwich in my car yesterday; it was days old and I had already read it.

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