Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, January 10, 2015)
Word of the Day

debacle

Definition:(noun) A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.
Synonyms:fiasco
Usage: The team had had high hopes before the debacle of their final game, in which they did not manage to score any points.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Syntax

Syntax refers to the ways in which we order specific words to create logical, meaningful sentences. What two things are required to form a complete and logical statement? More...
Article of the Day

Hadith

Hadith is the collection of the traditions of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. Hadith consists of two branches, the first concerned with the validation of the individual traditions through the process of examination of its chain of transmitters back to the Prophet, and the second concentrating on the actual content of the traditions as a source of religious authority. What are the differences between the Hadith accepted by Sunni Muslims and that accepted by Shiite Muslims? More...
This Day in History

Caesar Crosses the Rubicon (49 BCE)

When it appeared that the Roman Senate would replace him as governor of the province of Cisalpine Gaul, the increasingly powerful Julius Caesar set out for Rome with an army. By law, he was allowed to command troops only within his own province, so by crossing the Rubicon River into Italy proper, he committed an act of war. The phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has thus come to refer to passing the point of no return. According to legend, what famous remark did Caesar make about his risky decision? More...
Today's Birthday

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834)

Denied admission to Cambridge University because of his Roman Catholicism, Acton studied instead in Munich. He went on to become a noted historian and member of English Parliament. Outspoken against arbitrary power, he was also an editor of a Catholic monthly but resigned due to papal criticism of his scientific approach to history. He coined the saying "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Another of Acton's sayings is that a strong man with a dagger is followed by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
Once victim, always victim—that's the law!

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Idiom of the Day

jolly (someone) along

To encourage someone (to do something), especially in a positive, cheerful manner. More...
Today's Holiday

Benin National Vodoun Day (2021)

Vodoun is an ancient, African, pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as "Voodoo." The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. The day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration's central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: lessen

alleviate - Can mean "diminish the weight of"; to alleviate is not to cure, but rather to lighten, lessen, or relieve to some degree. More...

minute, second - Latin minutus, "small," came from minuere, "lessen," and the term pars minuta prima, "first small part," was applied to a 60th of a whole—a minute, originally of a circle and later of an hour; likewise, a second was originally a secunda minuta, a 60th of a 60th. More...

mince - Can mean "lessen or diminish (something)" or "minimize." More...

bated breath - The expression is based on bate, meaning "to moderate, restrain" or "to lessen, diminish"; though bated was once rather common, it is now rare except in this set expression. More...

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