22 JUNE 2002, Page 31

Chattering corvids

From Mr Adam Zamoyski

Sir: Paul Johnson ('And another thing', 15 June) might also have mentioned that gazza. the Italian for magpie, is the word from which the first gossip-sheets in 18thcentury Italy derived their name of gazzette, which subsequently came to denote all newspapers. Such a link between the chattering corvid and the journalist supports his notion of this as the age of the magpie.

Adam Zamoyski

London SW7