This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Instant cities, France fights to save the semi-colon, Obama big in Gaza

This Magazine Staff

National Geographic looks at China’s ‘instant cities.’ All over China’s coastal regions huge cities are popping up seemingly overnight to make room for factories and the thousands of workers flocking from the countryside to fill them. The writer, Peter Hessler, is one of my favourites working in China at the moment.
France is fighting the semi-colon. Of course, they blame English for the decline of the poor punctuation mark. From the article:

In the red corner, desiring nothing less than the consignment of the semicolon to the dustbin of grammatical history, are a pair of treacherous French writers and (of course) those perfidious Anglo-Saxons, for whose short, punchy, uncomplicated sentences, it is widely rumoured, the rare subtlety and infinite elegance of a good semicolon are surplus to requirements. The point-virgule, says legendary writer, cartoonist and satirist François Cavanna, is merely “a parasite, a timid, fainthearted, insipid thing, denoting merely uncertainty, a lack of audacity, a fuzziness of thought”.

Barack Obama is apparently very popular in Gaza! Sadly, it doesn’t get any delegates.
Our video of the week… an homage to southern rockers Lynrd Skynrd and our friends in the Red Army Choir. Seriously.

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