Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, June 20, 2015)
Word of the Day

chalkstone

Definition:(noun) A deposit of urates around a joint or in the external ear; diagnostic of advanced or chronic gout.
Synonyms:tophus
Usage: Once the doctor saw the chalkstone, he knew his patient was suffering from gout.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Dashes

There are two similar but distinct punctuation marks called dashes: the en dash ( – ) and the em dash ( — ). What are en dashes used to indicate? More...
Article of the Day

Kinesics

Kinesics is the study of nonverbal, systematic communication through bodily movements, such as gestures, posture, and facial expressions. The study was pioneered by Ray Birdwhistell, a ballet dancer turned anthropologist, who wrote Introduction to Kinesics in 1952. Borrowing from descriptive linguistics, he argued that non-verbal forms of language have a grammar that can be analyzed like spoken language. Why is a "kineme" in kinesics similar to a phoneme in linguistics? More...
This Day in History

The Tennis Court Oath (1789)

In the first days of the French Revolution, the deputies of the Third Estate were locked out of their usual meeting hall at Versailles. Believing that their newly formed National Assembly was to be disbanded, they met at a nearby tennis court and took an oath not separate until a constitution was established for France. The oath was an assertion that power came from the people not the monarch, and their solidarity forced King Louis XVI to concede. Who was the only deputy not to sign the oath? More...
Today's Birthday

Lillian Hellman (1905)

After working as a book reviewer, press agent, and play reader, Hellman began writing plays in the 1930s. Her first major success, The Children's Hour, concerned two schoolteachers falsely accused of lesbianism. She examined family infighting in her hit The Little Foxes and political injustice in Watch on the Rhine. All were made into successful films. Hellman was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. What happened when she refused to testify? More...
Quotation of the Day
A fool cannot be an actor, though an actor may act a fool's part.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)

Idiom of the Day

make (oneself) useful

To do something that is actively helpful or of assistance to others. More...
Today's Holiday

Dragon Boat Festival (2015)

Chu'ü Yüan (343-289 BCE) was a Chinese poet and statesman of the Ch'u kingdom who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River to protest political corruption and injustice. The dragon boat races that take place on lakes and rivers throughout China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan on this day are a reenactment of the search for his body. People celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, which occurs on Tuan Wu, or Double Fifth Day, by eating dumplings made of steamed rice wrapped in bamboo leaves called zong ze. This is also a traditional time for performing customs intended to drive away evil spirits and illness. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: shock

shock - An encounter between two charging hostile forces. More...

enfant terrible - Actually applies to young adults (generally male) who go out of their way to shock or embarrass but at the same time are considered talented. More...

perculsive - Describing something that gives you a shock. More...

ay, chihuahua - This interjection expresses surprise or shock—even dismay, annoyance, or resignation. More...

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