One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Originally US. Originally: designating an address delivered by the U.S. President, giving the administration's view of the condition of the nation; (now also) designating a similar address delivered by the head of state of any of a number of nations.
2Chiefly British. Designating a work of fiction, drama, etc., of a type thought to reflect, satirize, or comment on the society in which it is written, typically having a contemporary setting and characters drawn from a wide spectrum of social backgrounds.
1930s; earliest use found in La Cross (Wisconsin) Tribune & Leader-Press. From state + of + the + nation.
State of the Nation/ˌsteɪt ə(v) ðə ˈneɪʃn/
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