Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 11, 2017)
Word of the Day

fusillade

Definition:(noun) A discharge from a number of firearms, fired simultaneously or in rapid succession.
Synonyms:burst, salvo, volley
Usage: Our warriors then rushed up to the roofs of the buildings which we occupied and followed the retreating armada with a continuous fusillade of deadly fire.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Verbs that Request Permission

Because modal auxiliary verbs can be quite similar in how they are used, it is sometimes unclear when it's more appropriate to use one instead of another. For instance, "can," "could," "may," and "might" can all be used to ask for permission. Which of these options is the least formal? More...
Article of the Day

Letters of Marque

A retaliatory measure once widely employed by governments around the globe, a letter of marque and reprisal is an official commission which authorizes a private ship to attack and capture merchant vessels from a hostile power. A ship operating under a letter of marque was known as a "private man-of-war" or "privateer." Widespread abuse on the part of privateers led a number of nations to ratify the 1856 Declaration of Paris abolishing the practice. What major power refused to sign the agreement? More...
This Day in History

9/11 Terrorist Attacks (2001)

On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes. They crashed two planes into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City and flew a third into the Pentagon building in Virginia. Passengers on the fourth flight attempted to retake control of the aircraft, but it crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11 were responsible for 2,996 deaths and countless more injuries. What were the environmental consequences of 9/11? More...
Today's Birthday

Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522)

After earning a degree in medicine, Aldrovandi took up botany and zoology, amassing a spectacular cabinet of curiosities containing thousands of specimens. He is said to have been the first to use the word "geology" in its modern sense. Carolus Linnaeus, the botanist who laid the groundwork for the modern system of naming species, hailed Aldrovandi as the father of natural history. Aldrovandi also founded Bologna's public botanical garden and was its first curator. Why was he arrested in 1549? More...
Quotation of the Day
Poverty doesn't bring unhappiness; it brings degradation.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Idiom of the Day

put food on the table

To earn enough money to provide the basic necessities for oneself and (often) one's family. More...
Today's Holiday

Patriot Day (2018)

Patriot Day in the United States commemorates the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and in the skies above Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Each year the president proclaims a day of national observance in memory of the more than 2,700 people who lost their lives in the attacks. Throughout the nation, flags are flown at half-staff and a moment of silence is observed at 8:46 a.m., Eastern time, the exact moment the first plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: pleasant

amicable, amiable - Amicable implies being well disposed; amiable is acting well disposed and is commonly applied only to people—though sometimes it is used for occasions, while amicable is not applied to people at all but to human interactions and their outcomes. Amiable first meant "kind" or "lovely, lovable," and amicable first applied to things and meant "pleasant, benign." More...

jolly - Comes from Old French jolif, "merry, festive, pleasant." More...

merry - First meant "peaceful" or "pleasant," which is what it first meant in "Merry Christmas." More...

soft - First meant "agreeable, pleasant." More...

In the News

Cancer Pen Could Detect Tumors During Surgery in Seconds

A handheld “pen” can detect cancer cells within seconds, speeding up diagnosis and helping surgeons more accurately remove tumors, researchers reported Wednesday. The probe works in real time, and is at least as accurate as removing a tissue sample ... More...
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