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Font of all jokes

It's a funny business, teachers' pay. So too is the deployment of support staff in schools. Side-splittingly, belly-laughingly, hilariously funny.

That, presumably, is why the School Teachers' Review Body is issuing advisories in that most abused of fonts, Comic Sans.

So too with the Department for Education and Skills and the Institute of Education, which have taken to publishing research briefs in the jokey lettering.

Comic Sans - see the headline (above) - was originally designed for cartoon strip speech bubbles, then inadvertently packaged with Microsoft software.

More than 1,600 people have signed an online petition to ban the font. Dave Combs, creator of bancomicsans.com, argues that using Comic Sans in a business document is like turning up to a black-tie ball in a clown costume.

He storms that personal computers have put typography within the reach of librarians. "Even the uneducated have opportunities to desecrate this art form, therefore destroying the historical integrity of typography," he said.

Primary teachers who use Comic Sans for name labels above pupils' coat pegs may escape the wrath, but the DfES should consider finding a more serious font.

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