Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, August 20, 2019)
Word of the Day

avocation

Definition:(noun) An activity taken up in addition to one's regular work or profession, usually for enjoyment.
Synonyms:hobby, pursuit, sideline
Usage: Garth had failed in the building business, which he had unfortunately added to his other avocations of surveyor, valuer, and agent.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Avoiding Unnecessary Prepositions

While it is perfectly correct to end a sentence with a preposition, we must be careful that we do not include extraneous prepositions that do not serve a grammatical function. What is the very common error in the following sentence? "Where are you at?" More...
Article of the Day

The Deipnosophistae

Written in the 3rd-century by the Greek writer Athenaeus, the Deipnosophistae professes to be an account of three banquets held at the house of a scholar and wealthy patron of the arts. The work is invaluable for providing information about the Hellenistic leisure class of the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of food and sexuality. In the course of conversation, the banqueters quote about 700 authors, many of them otherwise unrecorded, and discuss the story behind what famous statue? More...
This Day in History

The Big Burn (1910)

The Great Fire of 1910 was a wildfire that burned approximately three million acres (12,000 sq km) in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Spurred by hurricane-force winds, it destroyed parts of several national forests. Since known as the Big Burn, the firestorm burned over two days and killed more than 80 people, including 78 firefighters. It is believed to be the largest, although not the deadliest, fire in US history. How did the Great Fire of 1910 shape future US Forest Service policy? More...
Today's Birthday

Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779)

Regarded as one of the founders of modern chemistry, Berzelius was a Swedish professor who achieved an immensely important series of innovations and discoveries. He developed chemistry's modern system of symbols and formulas, prepared a remarkably precise table of atomic weights, analyzed numerous chemical compounds, and discovered the elements selenium, thorium, and cerium. He also introduced basic laboratory equipment that remains in use today. What common scientific terms did Berzelius coin? More...
Quotation of the Day
There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

arm candy

An especially attractive person who acts as a romantic escort or date to social events, but who is not romantically attached to or involved with the person he or she is accompanying. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Stephen's Day (Hungary) (2019)

The founding of Hungary is commemorated on August 20, which is also the feast day of the founder of the country, St. Stephen of Hungary (c. 975-1038). He assumed the kingship in 1000 and worked to unite the various clans into a single Christian state. In 1950, the day was changed to Constitution Day by the communist regime, but since 1990 it has again celebrated St. Stephen. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: rush

exigent - A good word to write on letters or packages, since everyone else writes "urgent" or "rush." More...

rush candle, rush light - A rush candle or rush light is a candle of feeble power made by dipping the pith of a rush in tallow or other grease. More...

spate - A sudden flood or rush, an outpouring. More...

debacle - Comes from French debacler, "to unbar, free," with the root sense being "to shatter with one's rod"; its original meaning was "a breaking-up of ice in a river" or a "sudden flood or rush of water carrying debris." More...

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