Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, June 16, 2018)
Word of the Day

earsplitting

Definition:(adjective) Loud and shrill enough to hurt the ears.
Synonyms:deafening, thunderous
Usage: When the little boy throws a tantrum, he lets loose with the most fearful, earsplitting screams.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Parentheses within Parentheses

Very occasionally, we might have a larger parenthetical element that contains one or more smaller ones. What is conventionally done to the smaller parenthetical element, to distinguish it from the parentheses of the larger text? More...
Article of the Day

Ouzo

Ouzo is a clear, anise-flavored liqueur made exclusively in Greece. While some say that its name derives from the Turkish word üzüm—meaning grape—a popular anecdote claims that it actually comes from the Italian phrase uso Massalia, meaning "for use in Marseilles." According to the story, the phrase became synonymous with "superior quality" after being stamped on crates of silkworm cocoons exported in the 19th century. Why does ouzo turn white when mixed with water or ice? More...
This Day in History

The Soweto Riots (1976)

In 1974, the South African government passed a decree making it mandatory for black schools to split instruction between English and Afrikaans—a language that many associated with the segregationist apartheid government. Two years later, at least 10,000 people—most of them young students—marched to Orlando Stadium in the city of Soweto to protest the change. Violence erupted when police began firing shots, and the resulting Soweto Riots continued for months. How many died during the riots? More...
Today's Birthday

John Howard Griffin (1920)

Griffin was an American author who darkened his white skin with medication and sunlamps in order to experience the racial segregation of the southern US. He described his experiences in his controversial 1961 book Black Like Me, which details his interactions with others—both white and black—and the problems he encountered while traveling and attempting to meet basic needs. It is often recounted that Griffin died from skin cancer resulting from his efforts to darken his skin. Is it true? More...
Quotation of the Day
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

mess of pottage

Something of little, trivial, or no value but which appears to be attractive or valuable on first reckoning. An allusion to Esau in Genesis 25:29–32, who sells to Jacob his birthright to his family's estate for a bowl of lentil stew (pottage). More...
Today's Holiday

Election of the Mayor of Ock Street (2018)

During the 18th century, it was customary for the people of Abingdon to roast a black ox on St. Edmund of Abingdon's Feast Day (June 19). In 1700 an argument arose during the ox roast over who would get the horns, and a man named Hemmings took possession of the horns. The crowd hailed him as the "Mayor of Ock Street." Today, only people who live on Ock Street may vote for the mayor. The winner toasts his election by drinking from a special applewood chalice, and he is carried through the streets in a flower-decorated chair by the Abingdon Morris dancers. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: similarity

eye rhyme - A similarity between words in spelling but not pronunciation—like dove and move. More...

icon - Originally a "simile" in rhetoric; its etymological idea is of "similarity," from Greek eikon, "likeness, similarity." More...

goose pimples - Named for their similarity to the skin of a plucked goose. More...

lens - From Latin for "lentil," because of the similarity in shape. More...

In the News

How Did Ancient Humans Travel to America from Asia? New Research Looks at Pacific Coast

Humans have always been good at spreading out and covering ground, but we can't tackle every obstacle in our path. Giant ice sheets that spread for miles in every direction, for example, tend to stop all but the most adventurous of us quite efficiently ... More...
September '18
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
February '18
SMTWTFS
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728   
December '17
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
July '17
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
April '17
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
February '17
SMTWTFS
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728    
October '16
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
July '16
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
January '16
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
August '15
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
May '15
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31