Barbs that bite
Given the enoyment derived from other people's discomfort, it seems churlish to point out the pain and humiliation such taunts can cause. Yet, as a Cardiff University survey has discovered (page 13), playground name-calling such as "fatty", "slag" and even "specky four-eyes", can leave children scarred for life. The line between good-natured banter and bullying is difficult to draw. One solution might be to follow Canon Lane first school in north-west London (page 5) and ask the children. With luck, they'll combine responsibility with a good old-fashioned sense of humour.