Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, May 23, 2019)
Word of the Day

coterie

Definition:(noun) An exclusive circle of people with a common purpose.
Synonyms:clique, ingroup, camp, pack
Usage: This little coterie of friends was composed of seven famous men, who possessed many talents in common, being poets and musicians, alchemists, philosophers, and mostly hard drinkers as well.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Auxiliary Verbs - Can

The modal auxiliary verb "can" is most often used to express a person or thing’s ability to do something. When is "can do" used? More...
Article of the Day

Prayer Wheels

A prayer wheel is a mechanical device used by Tibetan Buddhists as an equivalent to the recitation of a mantra. It consists of a rod upon which is mounted a hollow metal cylinder inscribed with or containing a prayer. Each turn of the wheel is considered equivalent to orally reciting the prayer. Variants to the handheld prayer wheel are large cylinders that can be moved by hand or kept in continuous motion by windmills or waterwheels. What is an Internet-operated prayer wheel? More...
This Day in History

Girolamo Savonarola Executed for Heresy (1498)

Savonarola was an Italian preacher and religious reformer. After the overthrow of the Medici family, he became the ruler of Florence, setting up a democratic but severely puritanical government. He was opposed by the allies of the Medici and by Pope Alexander VI, who attempted to restrain Savonarola's unusual interpretations of scripture and his claim of prophecy. He was tried, convicted of heresy, and hanged. His government was known for its "bonfire of the vanities," which was what? More...
Today's Birthday

Artie Shaw (1910)

Considered one of swing's two great clarinetists—along with his rival, Benny Goodman—Shaw was a virtuoso at his instrument. He began playing professionally as a teen before becoming leader of one of the most popular big bands of the swing era. In 1935, he performed with a string quartet that he later expanded into a more conventional dance band. He led a US Navy band during World War II and various ensembles later on, retiring in 1954. How many times was Shaw married? More...
Quotation of the Day
Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

Give me liberty, or give me death!

A set phrase indicating stark and unyielding refusal to submit to authoritarian measures or domination. The phrase is attributed to American politician Patrick Henry (1736–1799) from a speech he made to the Virginia Convention in 1775, calling for Virginian troops to assist in the Revolutionary War. Any number of alternative nouns can be used in place of "liberty" as a means of humorously or hyperbolically highlighting one's extreme reluctance to part with it. More...
Today's Holiday

Lag B'Omer (2019)

The name of this Jewish holiday means "thirty-three omer," an omer being a sheaf of barley or wheat. In the biblical book of Leviticus, the people were commanded by Jehovah to make an offering of a sheaf of barley on each of the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot. After the evening service, the number of the day was solemnly announced, and in time this ceremony came to be known as "the counting of the omer." Lag ba-Omer represents a break in the otherwise solemn season between Passover and Shavuot. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: retreat

retreatant - A person taking part in a retreat. More...

anabasis, catabasis - An anabasis is a military expedition and a catabasis is the retreat of an army. More...

ivory tower - Suggests elegant detachment in a cool, white aerie, where a poet or philosopher might retreat to think and write. More...

resile, arsle - To resile or arsle is to recoil, retreat, or draw back. More...

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