Current Events

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    Is An “Equinox” The Same As A “Solstice”?

    For centuries, humans have used different markers to note the changing seasons. The harvest moon has popularly been used to announce the fall, just as Groundhog Day tells us whether or not spring is on schedule. But, seasonal change owes much more to the equinox and the solstice than to groundhogs. What is an equinox? First, because we’re a dictionary and all, we’ll look at …

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    Is “Emergency” The Right Word To Describe What’s Happening At The Border?

    by Ashley Austrew and John Kelly In late February 2019, the House of Representatives voted to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border. Trump’s declaration—issued on February, 15, 2019 and based on the emergency powers granted to the presidency by the Constitution—would build a wall with funds not approved by Congress, which has authority over the nation’s finances and budget. …

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    From Suffrage To Sisterhood: What Does Feminism Actually Mean?

    Falling annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day celebrates the progress women have made over the last century, and the inspiring women who helped make that progress happen. From the suffragist movement of the 1800s to the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, women have used the power of language and oration to inspire countless people. Early inspiration: the Enlightenment Early feminism was heavily influenced by …

  4. http://time.com/

    Game of Thrones Language Explained: What’s “Dothraki”?

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    Presidents’ Day Isn’t The Real Name Of The February Holiday

    If you live in the United States and you’re anything like us, you might view Presidents’ Day as just another three-day weekend in February. But the story behind this important commemorative holiday is more interesting than you might think–especially considering Presidents’ Day isn’t the official name of the holiday at all. When was the first Presidents’ Day? Presidents’ Day was first established in 1885 to …

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    From The Grammys To The Oscars: The Stories Behind The Names

    We are approaching the end of the awards season, which begins each year with the Emmy Awards in November and culminates with the Academy Awards in February. (The Tonys are a summertime outlier.) Rare talents can sometimes win all four of the major performing arts awards–an almost mythic achievement known colloquially as an EGOT: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. There are …

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    Has The Word “Expert” Lost Its Meaning In 2019?

    by Ashley Austrew What makes someone an expert? In the days of the internet, it seems like it’s gotten much harder to tell. Social media and the instant expert Social media makes it possible for anyone to have a platform, and that’s given rise to the phenomenon known as the instant expert. These self-appointed authorities on everything from federal policy to last night’s episode of This Is …

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    Why Roman Numerals Are The Super Bowl’s Signature

    Sure, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, (World Cup fans, feel free to weigh in here) and an unofficial national holiday in the United States. But, do you know how the Super Bowl got its name? Or why it uses Roman numerals? How did the Super Bowl get its name? In the 1960s, American pro football was divided …

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    Groundhog Day Or Groundhog’s Day: What’s The Holiday Really Called?

    Every year, February 2 marks Groundhog Day. While the frost is still thick on the ground in some places of the country, spring may be on the way. But, why is this holiday not called Groundhogs Day or even Groundhog’s Day? Groundhog Day seems pretty strange … Why is it called Groundhog Day? Well, let’s start with why it’s not called Groundhogs Day, OK? It’s simple really … the …

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    What Does It Mean To Be Electable?

    by Ashley Austrew In January 2019, several big and small name politicians have announced their candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, prompting the rest of us to start the usual pre-election year arguments about which candidate is the most electable. The word electable seems self-explanatory. Technically, it means “capable of, or having a reasonable chance of being elected.” But, what are we really talking about …

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