The Guardian is, of course, a serious paper, but perhaps it needs to work on its appreciation of irony. Irreverent Times Higher columnist Gary Day was more than a little surprised to find himself described as "the right-wing De Montfort University don" in an article on higher education and social engineering in Saturday's Guardian . Author Claire Sambrook had failed to notice that Professor Day's tongue was firmly in his cheek when he tackled the issue in a recent column, and she quoted him sincerely as a defender of top-up fees, the one "keep out" sign that really does work against "the burger-munching masses". Professor Day this week offered to give the paper lessons in how to spot an ironic reference. "They can contact my agent," he said.