28 NOVEMBER 1992, Page 35

Papal bulls

Sir: If the mediaeval legend of Pope Joan may be credited, then the use of the expres- sion 'well-hung' to denote a gentleman's sporting equipment (Mind your English, 14 November) is very much older than the 17th century. Her election to the papacy is said to have caused such scandal to the Church that all subsequent candidates are supposed to have undergone a physical inspection upon a specially constructed close stool. The offi- ciating cardinal is then believed to have announced to the assembled conclave: `Duos habet, et bene pendentes.' Perhaps some Spectator-reading Vatica- nologist can inform us as to the persistence of this interesting ceremony.

Guy Evans

137 Blackheath Park, London SE3

`Looks like we got the wrong film back from the chemists again.'