Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, August 9, 2018)
Word of the Day

garrulity

Definition:(noun) The quality of being wordy and talkative.
Synonyms:loquacity, talkativeness
Usage: With the confidential garrulity of a man who has dined too well, he plunged into his darling topic, and I looked past him at the clock.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Commas with Long Numbers

It is standard practice to add one or more commas to long numbers to make them easier to read. What are commas used in this way technically known as? More...
Article of the Day

Hinnies

Bred as work animals for at least 3,000 years because of their ability to withstand harsh conditions, mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. The less common cross of a female donkey and a male horse is called a hinny. Hinnies are more horselike in appearance than mules, but are often considered inferior. Like mules, they are sterile, since their uneven number of chromosomes results in an incomplete reproductive system. Why are hinnies rarer than mules? More...
This Day in History

Nathan Ames Patents His "Revolving Stairs," Now Known as the Escalator (1859)

Although no working model of his design was ever built, Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator. His idea for the "revolving stairs" was largely speculative. It was not until the 1890s that the first working escalator—called the "inclined elevator"—was produced, based on another's designs. It was installed among the amusements at New York's Coney Island but did not remain a novelty for long. How did shoppers react when Harrods in London debuted its first escalator in 1898? More...
Today's Birthday

Pamela Lyndon "P. L." Travers (1899)

Australian-born British actress, journalist, and novelist P. L. Travers is best remembered for her series of fictional children's books about the prim, vain, imperious, acerbic, and mysteriously magical nanny Mary Poppins. The books were a great success, and Disney's award-winning 1964 film adaptation made the author even more famous. Travers worked as an adviser on the film, but in the end she was unhappy with it and never allowed anyone related to the production to adapt her work again. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

out of house and home

Evicted; no longer having someplace to live. More...
Today's Holiday

Bat Flight Breakfast (2018)

Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico was proclaimed a national monument in 1923 not only for its geologic formations but for its teeming bat population. Although many visitors to the park witness the bats' spectacular outbound flight at sunset, far fewer witness their return—except those who attend the annual Bat Flight Breakfast. About 400 people arrive at the cave before sunrise on the second Thursday in August and eat sausages and scrambled eggs in their official yellow "bat breakfast hats" while they wait for the bats to return to their roosts. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: hunger

famine, famish - Famine and famish come from Latin fames, "hunger." More...

dissatisfied, unsatisfied - Only a person can be dissatisfied, while an abstract thing (such as hunger) can be unsatisfied. More...

piece de resistance - The original context for piece de resistance is what one is able to resist by eating the big dish—pangs of hunger. More...

In the News

Should the Moon Be Quarantined?

The moon and the word “astrobiology” don't often appear in the same sentence—even with a handful of government space agencies and private corporations planning crewed forays to the lunar surface for the first time since NASA's Apollo 17 mission in 1972. That ... More...
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