Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 6, 2015)
Word of the Day

contretemps

Definition:(noun) An unforeseen event that disrupts the normal course of things; an inopportune occurrence.
Synonyms:mishap, predicament, calamity
Usage: His cross-country tour had its full share of comic contretemps.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Particles

A particle is a word that does not have semantic meaning on its own, but instead relies on the word it is paired with to have meaning. What are the only two things that a particle is used to create? More...
Article of the Day

"Freedom Fries"

"Freedom fries" was a short-lived name used by some in the US for French fries after France resisted condoning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In March, 2003, all references to French fries and French toast on the menus of restaurants run by the House of Representatives were removed. By July 2006, however, the move had been reversed. Politically-motivated renamings were also seen during World War I, when anti-German sentiment led some to refer to sauerkraut as what? More...
This Day in History

Nasir Khusraw Embarks on Seven-Year Middle East Journey (1046)

Khusraw, a Persian poet, philosopher, scholar, and traveler, is considered one of the great writers of Persian literature. His most famous work is the Safarnama, an account of his seven-year journey through the Islamic world, during which time he made pilgrimages to the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina and visited many cities, including Jerusalem and Cairo. The work stands out as the most authentic account of the Islamic world at that time. He traversed what distance in those seven years? More...
Today's Birthday

Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619)

Cyrano de Bergerac was a French writer and freethinker who satirized the customs and beliefs of his time. He wrote two romances about visits to the moon that are classics of early modern science fiction and inspired later writers such as Jonathan Swift. His swaggering personality, evinced by the many duels he fought over insults to his unusually large nose, was romanticized by Edmond Rostand in the verse drama Cyrano de Bergerac. How much of the play is an accurate reflection of his life? More...
Quotation of the Day
They may walk with a little less spring in their step, and the ranks are growing thinner, but let us never forget, when they were young, these men saved the world.

Bill Clinton (1946-)

Idiom of the Day

at top speed

As fast as something or someone can go. More...
Today's Holiday

Alamo Day (2017)

In 1836, a garrison of Texans took a stand against the Mexican Army at a Franciscan mission in San Antonio, named after the grove of cottonwood trees (alamo in Spanish) that surrounded it. Led by William Barret Travis, the band of volunteers was beseiged for 13 days by Mexican soldiers. Travis refused to surrender, and the Alamo was overrun on the morning of March 6. Only women and children survived. The heroic action at the Alamo gave the Texans time to organize the forces necessary to save their independence movement. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: metaphor

trope - A figurative or metaphorical use of a word or phrase. More...

ingrain, ingrained - Ingrain literally means "work into the grain" (originally, of fabric), and ingrained is metaphorically "deep-seated." More...

farce - First meant forcemeat stuffing and came to be used metaphorically when a humorous play was "stuffed" in between two more serious acts of the main theatrical presentation—or for interludes of impromptu buffoonery in a dramatic presentation. More...

relieve - Metaphorically, to "alleviate, lighten," from Latin relevare, "raise again." More...

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