I hear with my little ear: 24 Sept- 30 Sept

News in Slow Spanish Latino #275 and #276. Episode #275 had a fascinating section about why written Spanish uses punctuation marks at the beginning as well as the end of a sentence. Apparently in the 18th century the Royal Academy, which guards the purity of the Spanish language, decreed that long sentences should have ? and ! at the beginning and end so that someone reading it out loud would know what the intonation should be. The definition of a long/short sentence was vague, so they changed the rule so that the punctuation appeared on all sentences. ¡Up until 2014 an exclamation mark was known as a ‘sign of admiration’ which wasn’t always true, so they changed it to ‘sign of exclamation’!

The Thread Series 1. It might be story-telling but it sure ain’t history. As a historian, I feel a bit embarrassed admitting that I listened to The Thread first series because its approach to causality is very suss and some of the claims made had me snorting with derision. It’s better to think of it as a ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, as it moved from the shooting of John Lennon to Vladimir Lenin. On the way, it passed J.D.Salinger, Eugene O’Neill, Oona O’Neill and Louise Bryant and her husband John Reed (as seen as in the 1981 film ‘Reds’). The individual biographies were interesting, but the “if only…” history behind it is a bit of a stretch.

Rear Vision. (ABC) On the tenth anniversary of the GFC, this Rear Vision episode The legacy of the Global Financial Crisis gives a really good overview.

Russia if you’re listening (ABC). The series has officially finished, but Matt Bevan issues ‘Trumpdates’ if anything interesting comes along. And, with Donald Trump, something usually does. They are shorter episodes, generally featuring Matt Bevan discussing events with a (usually Australian) commentator  This time: Will Rosenstein lose his job?

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