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Author Topic: DAILY BRIEFING  (Read 44588 times)

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Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #150 on: August 13, 2016, 04:12:23 PM »

DID YOU KNOW ?

UMPIRE

Arbiter.
Before it mellowed to describe a judge in a sporting contest, this was
the title of the stickler who refereed judicial combat as the numpire,
from the Old French for "non-pair/peer;' indicating impartiality.
This entered English as "numpire;' but by the 15th century the "n''
had leeched back to the article to produce "an umpire:' Much the
same happened to "napron:' "nadder;' and "norange:' with the reverse
happening to "ewt" and "ekename;' which today appear as "newt"
and "nickname:' STICKLER

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #151 on: August 21, 2016, 07:58:48 PM »

DID YOU KNOW ?

CHAPEL

Place of worship.
St Martin of Tours (d. AD 397) is said to have been a Roman soldier
who, on seeing a beggar shivering at the gates of Amiens, divided his
centurion's cape with the wretch and went on his way with what little
he had left. The beggar was Jesus, who later appeared to Martin in a
dream, wearing the half-cape, and told him to quit the army and
place himself under the guidance of the Bishop of Poitiers. The
French built a significant cult around this saint, and any battle or
treaty requiring the royal presence demanded that the cappella, or
cloak, believed to be St Martin's half of the divided garment, be taken
along in its ornate ark and a small place of worship be built at every
stop on the journey. Each of these places was designated a cappella,
now "chapel;' and, in imitation of St Martin, each soldier delegated
to leave the army and remain behind as custodian took the title of
cappellain, which evolved into "chaplain:'

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #152 on: February 09, 2017, 01:17:16 PM »

DID YOU KNOW ?

RUN AMOK

Lose control.
This was the Malay equivalent of the Viking berserk, a warrior in a
homicidal frenzy bent on killing as many of the enemy as possible.
The Malays occupied and gave their name to Malabar on the west
coast of India where, until the 17th century, their king was required
to cut his own throat in public after 12 years of rule. At that time, the
ritual was modified so that the king was required to stand in public,
surrounded by his bodyguards, as an open invitation to any amok,
"frenzied warrior;' who dared to attack the bodyguards, kill the king,
and take his place for the next 12 years. Visiting Europeans brought
home the phrase after watching one amoker after the other meet their
deaths at the hands of the king's bodyguards. "Run amok" is often
written as "run amuck;' incorrectly. BERSERK

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #153 on: February 12, 2017, 07:19:08 AM »

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #154 on: February 23, 2017, 10:14:08 AM »
DID YOU KNOW ?

LACONIC

Terse or concise.
By the close of the 8th century BC Laconia was the region of modern Greece ruled by the warlike city of Sparta, whose citizens were not very talkative. Their approach to verbosity is best summed up by the probably apocryphal story of King Philip II of Macedon sending word to the Spartan council: "If I enter Laconia, I will level Lacedaemon to the ground." The ephors, or senior magistrates, returned the message: "If." A more recent military laconicism is "Nuts!" This was the famous reply made by General McAuliffe to the German demands for him to surrender Bastogne and the American 101st Airborne during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. The 101st managed to hold the town.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #155 on: March 19, 2017, 08:53:06 AM »

DID YOU KNOW ?

FULL TILT

Maximum speed.
Yomping across rough terrain on a horse while holding an 8-foot pole at the horizontal was not a sensible option for knights in combat. Instead, they held their lances upright until closing with their opponent at top speed, at which point the lance would be lowered, or tilted, down to use. The phrase "full tilt" thus came to mean "full speed" in a metaphorical sense.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #156 on: March 26, 2017, 06:05:41 PM »

DID YOU KNOW ?

TWENTY-ONE GUN SALUTE

Gesture of respect.
Gestures of respect or submission involving weapons rendered inoperable are nothing new - bows held backwards and lances being dragged in the dust are all recorded - but it was difficult to tell with cannon or musket by just looking at them that this had been done, so they had to be discharged to put the opposition at their ease. Any ship entering a foreign port was expected to discharge all guns to indicate friendly intentions. However, black powder was a valuable commodity at sea with a short shelf-life in the damp and salty conditions, so something had to be done to limit salutes without causing offense.
In 1675, Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), First Secretary of the British Admiralty, worked out a strict code to limit the ever-escalating number of salutes and the attendant waste of powder and shot. Pepys' scale started at three guns for the most junior admiral and added two more for each step in rank until it reached 19 guns for Admiral of the Fleet; he then added two more guns for a royal salute. His scale, still an accepted benchmark today, increased in odd numbers as salutes of even numbers were the accepted form for funerals.
However, everything started to creep up again. Royal salutes fired from the Tower of London soon leapt to 62 guns: 21 for the monarch, another 21 for the city, and 20 for the Tower itself. Other institutions quickly invented reasons for firing off dozens of cannon to add excitement to one occasion or another. Hyde Park still insists on 41 guns for ceremonial occasions, and indeed this was the number fired to greet American President George W. Bush on his 2003 visit to London .

 

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